The US Defense Department is preparing to conduct a missile test that American officials say is aimed at assessing the country’s ability to shoot down missiles coming from North Korea.
The test, part of the US military’s overall program to develop better missile shields, would be carried out in the Pacific Ocean next month, CNN reported Wednesday, citing Pentagon officials.
According to one official, the US Navy plans to test-fire an improved version of its Standard Missile off a warship during the drill. The missile has only been tested once, the officials said.
With an improved warhead and an upgraded booster, the missile is expected to have a longer range and more chance of targeting missiles mid-air.
The Standard Missile system has been jointly developed by Japan and is aimed at intercepting intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The missile is also said to be capable of targeting satellites in Earth’s lower orbit.
The US military is also…