Saturday, Dec 06, 2008
The US military on Friday successfully intercepted a long-range missile target in a “very realistic” simulated attack to test the proposed US missile defense system, the Defense Department said.
“We had a successful intercept” at 3:29 pm (2029 GMT), Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said of the test, which is seen as a crucial step towards a controversial anti-missile shield Washington plans to base in Eastern Europe.
The Bush administration wants to install a radar facility in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptor missiles in neighboring Poland by 2014.
Friday’s effort was the eighth successful intercept out of the 13 tests conducted since 1999, with the last successful test taking place in September 2007.
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The successful test of the project, which so far has cost the Defense Department some 100 billion dollars, comes at a critical time before president-elect Barack Obama moves into the White House on January 20.
Obama has so far not committed to the missile defense shield.
One of his senior foreign policy advisors during the campaign, Denis McDonough, has indicated however that Obama would support the program if the technology proves viable.
This article was posted: Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 4:49 am