[Defense in Brief] Recent Navy test of SM-6 proves it can down North Korean missiles

The U.S. Navy recently tested the SM-6 missile defense weapon against a target off the coast of Scotland and was successful, proving that the high-tech system is capable of destroying intermediate- and long-range ballistic missiles of the kind North Korea possesses.

The test verified that the SM-6 does have the ability to track and destroy incoming missiles. The Navy did not say specifically whether the test was intended as a test-run for a future North Korean missile attack against South Korea, Japan or U.S. forces in the Pacific Fleet region, however, the successful test did further validate the kind of technology most likely to be employed to defend South Korea or Japan in just that kind of scenario.

“The U.S. Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy sailors aboard USS McFaul successfully test fired a Standard Missile-6. That flight test, designated Standard Missile Controlled Test Vehicle (SM CTV)-03, demonstrated the successful performance of an SM-6 launched from an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense capable DDG (destroyer) and was conducted as part of the system’s flight certification process,” a statement from the Missile Defense Agency said.

Several military analysts and experts have predicted that a first-strike attack by the U.S. against North Korea would likely lead Pyongyang to launch massive ballistic missile strikes against South Korea and/or Japan, so it’s no surprise that the Pentagon is rushing to bolster the capabilities of its defensive systems. [source]

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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