Dec. 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy and Missile Defense Agency shot down an intermediate range ballistic missile at high altitude from the Aegis Ashore anti-ballistic missile system in Hawaii as part of their testing program for the SM-3 Block IIA missile.
The test is the second successful use of the system, which has suffered personnel and mechanical failures in previous testing. The interceptor was fired from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, according to MDA.
"Today's successful flight test demonstrated the effectiveness of the European Phased Adaptive Approach Phase 3 architecture," MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves said in a statement.
"It also was of great significance to the future of multi-domain missile defense operations and supports a critical initial production acquisition milestone for the SM-3 Block IIA missile program," Greaves said.
According to Raytheon, which manufactures the SM-3 Block IIA, the test is the first successful test from a land-based launch, as well as the first to rely on tracking data from remote sensors, called "engage on remote."
"The networked capability of the engage on remote technology provides an additional layer of defense to warfighters by providing even more time to react to threats," Lockheed Martin said of new data its Aegis system has been integrated to utilize.
The SM-3 Block IIA is a development of the Standard surface-to-air missile series. It is used with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system to intercept medium-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The SM-3 can be both land and sea-based and uses its own kinetic energy, or "hit-to-kill" rather than explosive warheads. The Block IIA model is capable of engaging ballistic missiles as they begin their descent in low space at long ranges.
Currently deployed versions capable of intercepting ballistic missile of the SM-3 include the SM-3 Block 1A, SM-3 Block 1B, and SM-6 interceptors mounted either on Aegis anti-ballistic missile ships like the Arleigh Burke and Ticonderoga classes or in land launchers linked to the Missile Defense Agency radar and early warning network.