WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy conducted a failed ballistic missile intercept Wednesday with its SM-3 Block IIA off the coast of Hawaii.
The destroyer John Paul Jones, running the Navy's top-of-the-line Aegis Baseline 9.C2 combat system, failed to intercept a medium-range ballistic missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii.
The destroyer detected and tracked the target on the AN/SPY-1 phased array radar but was unable to intercept it. It was the second test of this latest iteration of the SM-3. The John Paul Jones successfully shot down a target in February with it. That test was the first intercept using Baseline 9.2C.
"Program officials will conduct an extensive analysis of the test data," a news release for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said Thursday.
The test also marked the fourth flight test of the SM-3 Block IIA and the second time it was launched from a ship. John Paul Jones is the Navy's missile defense ship; it replaced the cruiser Lake Erie in 2014. Lake Erie was the test ship since 2000 and is currently on deployment in the Asia-Pacific region.
The missile is being developed by Raytheon and is a joint project between the U.S. and Japan, designed to counter rising missile threats from North Korea.
David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News. Before that, he reported for Navy Times.