Pentagon on Tuesday (30 May) said it successfully staged its first-ever missile defence test, intercepting and destroying an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The $244m test comes amid the increasing threats from North Korea. A ground-based interceptor, launched from a California airbase, shot down a mock ICBM warhead over the Pacific Ocean, said the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The mock threat was launched from the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site in the Marshall Islands. The Ground-based Midcourse Defense program (GMD) has so far cost about $40bn in the past 15 years and often been criticised for its expensive nature. Interestingly, of the nine intercept attempts, only four have been successful in the past since the GMD was declared combat-ready in 2004.
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