Shootout Something of a Bust

According to the Missile Defense Agency, the Jan. 31 major test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense System, in which an interceptor fired from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., was to intercept a ballistic missile target launched from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific, “did not perform as expected” because of a problem with the Sea-based X-band radar portion of the system. Both the interceptor and target vehicle launched successfully but there was no intercept. According to an MDA release, program officials plan “an extensive investigation” to find the cause.