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Raytheon's SM-3 Block IIA is developed and manufactured at Redstone Arsenal

Raytheon's SM-3 Block IIA is developed and manufactured at Redstone Arsenal

During the test, the military launched an SM-3 Block IIA missile from an Aegis Ashore test site to intercept an incoming dummy missile launched from an aircraft over Hawaii.

The SM-3 Block IIA missile, which is manufactured by Raytheon (RTN), is created to shoot down ballistic missiles while they are in the air.

Another U.S. missile interceptor test reportedly failed off the Hawaiian coast this week, marking what could be the second time within the past year that a test shot missed its target.

Wednesday's test was the missile system's first-ever flight from the Aegis Ashore facility at Kauai's Pacific Missile Range Facility, reports the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

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The Ground-based Midcourse Defense, or GMD, is part of the United States' ballistic missile defense system and provides commanders with the capability to target and eliminate limited intermediate-and long-range ballistic missile threat in space, according to the Missile Defense Agency.

"We always make progress every time we conduct a test", said MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves.

The failure comes amid high tensions between the USA and North Korea.

This test was unusual compared to previous intercept launches, primarily because it relied on shore-based Aegis assets - a missile defense platform developed for use on military ships.

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The Department of Defence confirmed to CNN that a test had taken place, but did not mention the result.

The a year ago saw ramped-up North Korean missile launches - some of them over Japanese territory - and its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.

Tokyo now plans to upgrade its missiles and introduce the Aegis Ashore systems to beef up its defense capability and ease the burden on Maritime Self-Defense Forces personnel on Aegis destroyers. After a successful test in June, Boeing announced in November that eight interceptors had been added to the system, bringing the total to 44.

Branding North Korea's leadership as "depraved", U.S. President Donald Trump told Americans on Tuesday that Pyongyang's pursuit of nuclear missiles could "very soon threaten our homeland" and vowed a continued campaign of maximum pressure to keep that from happening.

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