Missile interceptor fails in mock attack

A malfunction in a radar built by Raytheon Co., caused a U.S. attempt to shoot down a missile mimicking an Iranian attack to fail, the Defense Department has announced.

The $150 million test, which took place over the Pacific Ocean, followed a Pentagon report noting that Iran's expanded ballistic missile capabilities posed a significant threat in the Middle East to both U.S. and allied forces.

The Pentagon released a review of ballistic missile defense on Monday, which revealed that Iran had developed and acquired ballistic missiles that had the capability to strike targets from the Middle East to Eastern Europe.

This was the first time that a test of the United States' long range defense against a simulated Iranian attack has been performed, though similar tests have been done involving North Korean missiles.

Both the target missile and the interceptor in this weekend's test performed correctly, reports have said, but the Sea-Based X-band radar did not perform correctly according to reports on the Missile Defense Agency's website.

The SBX radar, as it is commonly known, is a major part of the United States' ground based midcourse defense, which is the only response to long range missiles that could be tipped with biological, chemical or nuclear warheads.