US shoots down mock warhead over Pacific

The Pentagon tested a ground-based interceptor missile from Vandenberg Air Force. (NBC Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Pentagon says it has shot down a mock warhead over the Pacific in a success for America’s missile defense program.

The test was the first of its kind in nearly three years. And it was the first test ever targeting an intercontinental-range missile like North Korea is developing.

The military says an interceptor rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California slammed into the warhead as it traveled outside the Earth’s atmosphere after being launched from a test range on a Pacific atoll.

Graphic shows details of U.S. missile launch targeting an ICBM; 2c x 4 inches; 96.3 mm x 101 mm;