For the first time in nearly three years, the ground-based missile defense system will attempt to hit a mock target during a test involving a launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The Missile Defense Agency plans to conduct the test Tuesday, with the ground-based interceptor blasting out of an underground silo at Vandenberg between noon and 4:14 p.m. in an attempt to intercept the target, which is set to lift off from the Kwajalein Atoll. The intended collision will occur somewhere above the Pacific Ocean and will not be visible from the Central Coast.
The test involves the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Segment, designed for a limited attack against the United States involving intermediate- and long-range ballistic missiles fired by rogue nations such as North Korea or Iran. The system includes communication networks and sensors to support the ground-based interceptors sitting on alert at Vandenberg and Fort Greely, Alaska. READ MORE