The spectacular intercept of a long-range ballistic missile over the Pacific on Dec. 5 shows once again that the technology works. The ground-based national missile defense now has destroyed its target in eight intercept attempts. It is simply inaccurate for critics to keep saying it does not work. This defense now should be placed in Europe.
Today, 22 of these ground-based midcourse interceptors are operational in Alaska and California, protecting against North Korea and other Asian threats, and 22 more are being fielded. That technology also should be used to protect the Eastern United States and Europe against Iran and other Middle Eastern threats, by installing the interceptors planned for Poland.
By James Hackett
The Washington Times
Iran is continuing to test new solid-fuel and longer-range missiles, and experts of the International Atomic Energy Agency say Tehran already has enough fissionable material to build a nuclear warhead. But the Middle Eastern threat is wider than Iran and could include international terrorists or rogue elements in Pakistan, which already has both nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
The test last week was the most challenging to date. The target missile was launched from Kodiak Island, Alaska, toward the ocean off California, where it was struck and destroyed by an interceptor launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The target was tracked by four radars on land and sea. The fire control system then combined the radar data and fed it to the interceptor, enabling the shoot-down of a complex target.
Missile defense opponents keep calling for more flight tests and oppose funding for the base in Europe until the “new” interceptors to be used there have been thoroughly tested.
Eight of the United States’ 13 missile defense tests have been deemed a success.