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Missile defense test conducted

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Ascending through the cloud of fire and smoke, a ground-based interceptor launched at approximately 3:45 p.m. here Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010. The launch was part of the 30th Space Wing and Missile Defense Agency's scheduled test of the ground-based interceptor system. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Angelina Drake)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Ascending through the cloud of fire and smoke, a ground-based interceptor launched at approximately 3:45 p.m. here Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010. The launch was part of the 30th Space Wing and Missile Defense Agency's scheduled test of the ground-based interceptor system. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Angelina Drake)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Awaiting the launch of a ground-based interceptor, crowds gathered at the Ronald W. Reagan Memorial Site here Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010. The launch was part of the 30th Space Wing and Missile Defense Agency's scheduled test of the ground-based interceptor system. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Angelina Drake)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Awaiting the launch of a ground-based interceptor, crowds gathered at the Ronald W. Reagan Memorial Site here Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010. The launch was part of the 30th Space Wing and Missile Defense Agency's scheduled test of the ground-based interceptor system. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Angelina Drake)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Missile Defense Agency conducted a flight test today of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System.

A target missile was successfully launched at approximately 3:40 p.m. PST from the U.S. Army's Reagan Test Site at Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Approximately six minutes later, a Ground-Based Interceptor was successfully launched here. Both the target missile and Ground-Based Interceptor performed nominally after launch. However, the Sea-Based X-band radar did not perform as expected.

Program officials will conduct an extensive investigation to determine the cause of the failure to intercept.

News media point of contact is Rick Lehner at 703-697-8997 or richard.lehner@mda.mil.