"This was a critically important test today. We now have the ability to take down short and intermediate missiles with our Patriot and THAAD batteries. And, should the Norks launch an ICBM at our shores, we have shown we can take that one out also."
Not to date myself, but in the 1980's, I worked on the HOE. HOE - what the heck is HOE? Homing Overlay Experiment. The grandfather to the successful ICBM intercept which happened today. Only in the 1980's, the technology to take down an ICBM was more like a wish than a fact.
In 1984, the HOE was part of the SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative). Some might remember this program to be known as "Star Wars". Well the truth of the matter was just this. HOE did not work very well. This "shooting a bullet with a bullet" sounded good, but sound was all it produced. It was a flop, as was the rest of SDI. But the Soviets did not know that. Good thing too, as this helped end the Cold War.
Flash forward to today. We have the BMD (Ballistic Missile Defense). And shooting a bullet with a bullet still exists. Guess what? The technology has really improved - big time. Today, a dummy ICBM was launched from the Marshall Islands. When detected, a missile killing rocket was launched from Vandenberg AFB from California. And now the "shooting a bullet with a bullet" seems to work very well, thank you.
This was a critically important test today. We now have the ability to take down short and intermediate missiles with our Patriot and THAAD batteries. And, should the Norks launch an ICBM at our shores, we have shown we can take that one out also. And very soon we will have other counter-measures which we can add into the mix to take out threats to our homeland.
Is this check or checkmate with the Norks? I would much rather be working with them to help their country heal and get out of poverty and hunger. But like ISIS, the Norks seemed more focused on death. Not our choice. Not our path. But if that is the path they choose to trod, we are here to help them. If it is going to be them or us, it will be them.