On June 21, 2017, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency conducted a failed test of a ballistic missile defense system, according to a press release.
The test, which was coordinated with the Japan Ministry of Defense, was of the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missile which is being developed to intercept and destroy medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
A target missile, standing in for a medium-range ballistic missile, was launched off the coast of Kaua‘i from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The Pearl Harbor-based USS John Paul Jones detected and tracked the missile with its radars and attempted to engage the target missile with the SM-3, however, the SM-3 missed.
No reason has been given for the test’s failure.
"Program officials will conduct an extensive analysis of the test data. Until that review is complete, no additional details will be available," the release says.
This was the fourth flight test of the SM-3 IIA and its second intercept test, the first of which — conducted in February — was successful and also conducted with the John Paul Jones.
The SM-3 IIA is being developed to join three other types of ballistic defense missiles that are part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.
These intercept tests are being done in light of North Korea's recent set of ballistic missile tests.