Photo: Military Photos
North Korea’s recent nuclear test incurred the standard international handwringing that follows most of what Pyongyang pulls off in that corner of the world. But once international leaders stepped from the cameras the real exchange began.The guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie successfully completed a first-of-a-kind missile test about the time Pyongyang was underway with their test.
The Erie cruised out to the waters off the island of Kauai and waited for the missile range there to launch a medium range ballistic rocket to be brought down by Erie’s Aegis system.
There have been dozens of successful Aegis tests over the past 10 years, but this was special because the Erie used new off-the-shelf electronics to work with an orbiting tracking system. The space-based system allows the Aegis to take down incoming missiles far sooner and at much greater distances than before.
Sooner means safer and with incoming ordnance out of the way, offensive strikes can be delivered that much earlier.
For its part South Korea reminded the North it had a missile that could strike deep into the North and offered video showing the Hyunmoo-3C launched from a submarine and a shipboard system.
The weapon’s current configuration has been in service for almost a year, but now seemed a good time for a South Korean ministry official to announce how accurate the missile actually is.
“The cruise missile unveiled today is a precision-guided weapon that can identify and strike the office window of the North’s command headquarters.”
Not to be outdone, South Korean army Major General Ryu Young-Jeo had this to say: “With this missile, we could hit any facility, equipment or individual target in the North anywhere, at any time of our choosing.”
South Korea’s military jumped to high alert following the North’s test and remains there now as it puts all plans for missile defence and greater projection into high gear.
The Aegis intercept video from the Erie is below. The action decidedly picks up at about 1 minute in.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.