Missile-defense exercise off Hawaiian island includes first live-fire intercept

August 16, 2022

Stars and Stripes:

The Navy and its Pacific allies recently demonstrated their ability to use the Aegis Combat System to down ballistic missiles of the type tested by North Korea this year.

The Navy for the first time in the Hawaii-based Pacific Dragon exercise used a Standard Missile 3 Block IA from an Aegis-equipped destroyer to shoot down a short-range ballistic missile. North Korea tested at least 13 short-range missiles in January, May and June.

The Aegis trial took place during the weeklong missile-defense exercise in Hawaii that concluded Sunday, the Navy said in a news release the next day. Japan, South Korea, Australia and Canada also employ the Aegis Weapon System and took part in Pacific Dragon.

The Kauai exercise underscores the shared goals among the three, the Defense Department said in a news release Monday.

“[T]his missile warning and ballistic missile search and tracking exercise demonstrated the commitment of the U.S., [South Korea], and Japan to furthering trilateral cooperation to respond to [North Korean] challenges, protecting shared security and prosperity, and bolstering the rules-based international order,” the release said.

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