Pentagon says U.S. can shoot down ICBMs: media



The Pentagon now believes that the United States has the ability to shoot down intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) targeting the U.S. mainland, according to U.S. media reports.

Citing a Pentagon memo which has not been made public, U.S. TV network CNN reported on Wednesday that after last month's successful test, U.S. ballistic missile defense system's capability against ICBMs is no longer "limited," as indicated by a previous evaluation in 2012.

"(Ground-based Midcourse Defense) has demonstrated capability to defend the U.S. homeland from a small number of intermediate-range or intercontinental ballistic missile threats with simple countermeasures," CNN cited the memo as saying.

The Pentagon said on May 30 that it successfully shot down an incoming ICBM over the Pacific in a test that day.

According to earlier reports, the Pentagon fired the ballistic missile with a mock warhead from Marshall Island, located near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, then launched an interceptor from Vandenberg Base, 250 km northwest of Los Angeles.

The interceptor "destroyed the target in a direct collision," according to a statement from the Missile Defense Agency.