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US Delays Anti-Missile Test Due To Weather In Alaska

File photo: An AMB is fired from Kodiak, Alaska.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Aug 31, 2006
The United States has postponed a test of its ballistic missile defense system scheduled Thursday, for one day, because of weather conditions in Alaska, the US Missile Defense Agency said.

The MDA plans to launch an interceptor at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California against a long-range ballistic missile fired from Kodiak, Alaska.

The test of the advanced space-based defense system is aimed primarily at information gathering rather than hitting the target weapon.

"The flight test scheduled for today has been delayed until tomorrow, same time, because of weather-related issues at Kodiak, Alaska," Chris Taylor, deputy director of MDA public affairs, told AFP.

The test is now scheduled Friday at Vandenberg Air Force Base between 7:00 am (1500 GMT) and 11:00 am (1900 GMT).

The test goal is to determine if the program's new ground-based interceptor can distinguish the target warhead from its launcher or a decoy.

The missile defense system employs radar and satellites to detect enemy missile launches and guide interceptors to their targets.

Another test planned for the end of the year, or early 2007, will have a principal goal of hitting the target weapon.

Friday's test will be the first launch of the ground-based interceptor from the Vandenberg base.

In a missile-defense test on June 22, the United States successfully intercepted a medium-range missile target launched from Hawaii.

That test came in the context of heightened international tensions caused by North Korea's threats to test-fire missiles.

In early July Pyongyang fired six short- and medium-range missiles and a long-range missile, which all fell into the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

Source: Agence France-Presse

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U.S. plans to deploy missile defense systems in eastern Europe should be transparent, Russia's defense minister said. The United States has ambitious plans to deploy a network of anti-missile systems across the world and there has been speculation that they would be based in at least two former communist-bloc countries.

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