Aegis test rescheduled for today

The military will test the Aegis ballistic missile defense weapon system off the coast of Kaua‘i today after canceling yesterday’s planned activity due to traffic at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, a military spokesman said.

“The range was not clear,” Tom Clements, PMRF spokesman, said.

The test will occur today during a four-hour window that begins at 6:30 a.m., said Chris Taylor, spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency. The only portion of the test that may be visible to Kaua‘i residents will be the launch of a dummy ballistic missile from the base, he said.

Three warships will be in the area during the test, including the Aegis-equipped USS Lake Erie, a cruiser that will attempt to simultaneously intercept a dummy cruise missile and a dummy ballistic missile.

A U.S. Aegis destroyer will also participate in the test, as will a Royal Netherlands Navy frigate that will track the training exercise.

The test marks the first time a European ally has participated in a ballistic missile defense system test, according to the MDA.

The Aegis system allows the U.S. Navy to detect missile launches and fire interceptors that collide with the projectiles midcourse.

The military has declared seven of the previous eight tests successful.

The cancellation resulted exclusively from problems at the base rather than the missile defense system, Taylor said.

“It had nothing to do with us,” he said.

• Charlotte Woolard, business writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 251) or cwoolard@kauaipubco.com.

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