This US Army System Intercepted, Destroyed Its First Ballistic Missile

Jul 13, 2017 at 10:48 AM ET

The U.S. Army recently conducted a test of its ballistic missile defense system by launching and destroying an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM). It was the Army’s first live-fire drill of an IRBM interception.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is deployed in South Korea, where it guards against potential North Korean attacks. THAAD uses radar to detect airborne missiles. An interceptor is fired from the truck-mounted launcher to collide with the incoming threat. It destroys the missile through sheer kinetic force.

With North Korea continuing to test its ballistic missiles, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said its successful test “bolsters the country’s defensive capability.”