News



DATE=5/12/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232071
TITLE=ANTI-MISSILE FAILS (S)
BYLINE=JIM RANDLE
DATELINE=PENTAGON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:   U-S MILITARY OFFICIALS SAY THE ARMY'S NEW MISSILE 
DEFENSE  SYSTEM FAILED TO HIT ITS TARGET -- AGAIN.  THE 
ANTI-MISSILE MISSILE IS DESIGNED TO PROTECT AMERICAN TROOPS FROM 
THE GROWING THREAT OF BALLISTIC MISSILE ATTACK.  CORRESPONDENT 
JIM RANDLE REPORTS FROM THE PENTAGON.

TEXT:  THE TEST PITTED THE ARMY'S THEATER HIGH ALTITUDE AREA  
DEFENSE SYSTEM, KNOWN AS "THAAD", AGAINST A TARGET THAT ACTED 
LIKE A THREATENING BALLISTIC MISSILE WARHEAD.  THE "THAAD" AND 
ITS COMPLEX RADAR, COMMUNICATIONS, AND MISSILE COMPONENTS WERE 
DEPLOYED IN THE REMOTE, BARREN, UNPOPULATED WILDS OF THE WHITE 
SANDS MISSILE RANGE IN NEW MEXICO.

THE RADAR WAS SUPPOSED TO TRACK THE TARGET, THE COMPUTERS WERE 
SUPPOSED TO IDENTIFY THE TARGET AS HOSTILE AND THEN DIRECT THE 
MISSILE TO SOAR INTO SPACE WITH ASTONISHING SPEED, TRACK, AND 
DESTROY THE TARGET.

INSTEAD, THE WEAPON LOST CONTROL RIGHT AFTER LAUNCH AND MADE A 
SMALL CRATER IN THE DESERT FLOOR.  THIS IS THE FIFTH TIME THE 
MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR PROGRAM HAS TRIED TO HIT A TARGET, AND IT IS
THE FIFTH TIME SOMETHING HAS GONE WRONG.  

BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE ADVOCATES SAY INTERCEPTION IS A 
DIFFICULT TASK, AND SOME FAILURES ARE TO BE EXPECTED.  EVEN 
BEFORE THE LATEST FAILURE, CONGRESSIONAL OPPONENTS OF THE PROGRAM
CALLED IT A POOR INVESTMENT AND URGED THE MONEY BE SPENT 
ELSEWHERE.   (SIGNED)

NEB/RAE

12-May-98 10:56 AM EDT (1456 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.