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Chalk One Up for Missile Defense Agency: The Missile Defense Agency recently notched an important win in its effort to produce a workable system. Officials declared success of the latest sea-based “hit to kill” intercept of a target that had separated from its booster. The feat was a first, said MDA. In the test, a Navy Aegis cruiser, USS Lake Erie, launched a Standard Missile-3 against a medium-range dummy missile target. The Aegis crew fired its intercept missile about four minutes after detecting the threat missile. Six minutes later, the SM-3 intercepted the target warhead more than 100 miles above the Pacific Ocean, destroying it on impact. Raytheon produces the SM-3, and the Lockheed Martin-Orbital team supplied and launched the target missile. It was the SM-3’s sixth successful test, with only one failure.