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MILITARY: U.S. carries out first ICBM intercept test infographic



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U.S. prepares for North Korea’s growing threat

Graphic News

May 30, 2017 -- The U.S. military said Tuesday it had intercepted a mock-up of an intercontinental ballistic missile in a first-of-its-kind test that comes amid concerns over North Korea’s weapons programme.

America’s $40-billion Ground-based Midcourse Defense system (GDM) has a patchy record, now succeeding in 10 of 18 attempts since 1999.

The Los Angeles Times reported that a problem affecting the thrusters came to light as a result of a flight test in January 2016. An interceptor launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in a test designed to show whether a redesign of the thrusters had solved persistent problems failed. One of the four thrusters shut down, sending the interceptor off course.

The system evolved from the multibillion-dollar effort triggered by President Ronald Reagan’s 1983 push for a “Star Wars” solution to ballistic missile threats during the Cold War -- when the Soviet Union was the only major worry.

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