The Kongo versus a ballistic missile target
Former Spook comments:
Michigan Senator Carl Levin won't be happy, but allied missile defense efforts reached another important milestone yesterday. In a test conducted off Hawaii, the Japanese Navy destroyer Kongou successfully shot down a mockballistic missile in space, using a U.S.-made SM-3 interceptor missile. The event marked the first time that an allied naval vessel has intercepted--and destroyed--a ballistic missile target. The Kongou and three other Japanese destroyers are equipped with the Aegis radar system and SM-3 missiles that are also found on U.S. vessels. The radar allows the vessel to track missile targets at long ranges and destroy them at high altitude, using the SM-3.
A Japanese news agency said:
In the test, implemented in cooperation with the U.S. Navy, a mid-range ballistic missile was launched from a U.S. military range on Kauai Island at 12:05 p.m. (Hawaii Time). The [Japanese] Maritime Self Defense Force's Kongou, sailing in waters several hundred kilometers away, detected it and fired an SM-3 about four minutes later. About three minutes later, the interceptor reached an altitude of more than 100 km in space and destroyed the target, according to officials.