Missile Intercept Successful

February 25, 2005

Dear Members and Friends,

Yesterday afternoon, in the Pacific Ocean off the island of Kauai, the United States successfully tracked, intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile using its sea-based Aegis platform with the Spy (SPY-1) radar and Standard Missile 3 (SM-3), which are integral to the overall multi-layered missile defense system being deployed this year. The test included Aegis cruiser, Lake Erie (CG-70), which detected and tracked the enemy target missile as well as launched the SM-3 interceptor missile. Also coordinated in the test was the Aegis destroyer, USS Russell (DDG-59), which paralleled the discrimination of the enemy target missile and linked it up with real-time satellite communication.

This mission was the first test of the initial SM-3 deployment rounds and the fifth successful intercept of the six sea-based missile defense test firings.

We urge Congress and the Administration to continue to fund, test, and deploy these real capabilities because the limited amount of defense deployed is not enough. This controlled sea-based missile defense technology gives the U.S. the ability to defend against short and medium-ranged missiles as well as asymmetrical defenses from sea-based platforms, such as container ships or barges off the coasts of our country. Overwhelmingly, the amount of short and medium-range missiles, that countries such as North Korea and Iran now possess, number in the hundreds.

These tests continue to prove the real capability of missile defense to defend our communities, country, allies, and overseas troops from ballistic missile attacks.

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