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The U.S. Has Conducted Its Own Test Launch

ICBM Interceptor Test
The U.S. successfully intercepted an ICBM-scale target with its ballistic missile defense system on Tuesday. (MDA photo)

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency—the Department of Defense's a research, development and acquisition agency—announced Tuesday evening that it had conducted a successful test in which an intercontinental ballistic missile target was intercepted by the Ground-based Midcourse Defense.

GMD is a component of our nation's ballistic missile defense system, and the test this week conducted from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., was the first ever against an ICBM-class target, which was launched from Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The system used multiple sensors to acquire the target and provide a successful firing solution.

"The intercept of a complex, threat-representative ICBM target is an incredible accomplishment for the GMD system and a critical milestone for this program," Navy Vice Adm. Jim Syring, director of the MDA, said. "This system is vitally important to the defense of our homeland, and this test demonstrates that we have a capable, credible deterrent against a very real threat. I am incredibly proud of the warfighters who executed this test and who operate this system every day."

While the test was planned weeks ago, it still sent a message to those who have declared they wish to do Americans harm. Leaders who have developed nuclear weapons—like North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un—and those who have developed the means to deliver them in the U.S.—like the mullahs in Iran—now know America is a more difficult target to strike.

You can watch portions of the test in the video clip above.

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