Wednesday, November 07, 2007

US Navy shoots down two ICBMs simultaneously

The Honolulu Advertiser reports that a US Navy missile defense test was a smashing success:

The Missile Defense Agency and Navy for the first time shot down two simulated ballistic missile targets yesterday off Kaua'i as the U.S. military heads toward a 2009 goal for operational use.

...The shoot-down was conducted by the Pearl Harbor-based cruiser USS Lake Erie. At 6:12 p.m., a target missile was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands. Moments later, a second identical target was launched.

The Lake Erie's Aegis weapons system detected and tracked the targets. About two minutes later, Lake Erie's crew fired two SM-3 missiles, and two minutes after that, they successfully intercepted the targets outside the Earth's atmosphere more than 100 miles above the Pacific Ocean and 250 miles northwest of Kaua'i.

The Aegis system guided the SM-3 intercept missiles through its first, second and third stages. Each SM-3 carries a kinetic warhead that ejects from the third stage and crashes into the target missile. Yesterday's test was delayed by several hours when boaters strayed into the Pacific Missile Range Facility... The Missile Defense Agency and Navy are modifying 15 destroyers and three cruisers to have Aegis ballistic missile defense capabilities.

In 1983, Ted Kennedy ridiculed Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) programs, calling them "reckless Star Wars schemes."

The only similarity of missile defense to the sci-fi film is Kennedy's increasing resemblance to Jabba the Hut.

If I were Ted Kennedy (*** shudder ***), I would be getting pretty damn sick of being wrong.

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