Boeing wins $6.56 billion US defense contract: Pentagon

Raytheon's SM-3 Block IIA is developed and manufactured at Redstone Arsenal

This marks the second failure of the Aegis missile defense system in the past year, coinciding with the growing threat of ballistic missile attack from North Korea.

The US Navy conducted a test intercept on Wednesday of its SM-3 Block IIA missile, part of the larger Aegis Ashore missile defence system.

Citing administration officials, CNN reports the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA, created to intercept ballistic missiles, did not successful hit its target.

The Missile Defense Agency conducts the first intercept flight test of a land-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system from the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex in Kauai, Hawaii, December 10, 2015.

The missile, which is being developed by Raytheon Co, is used to target intermediate range missiles and is being developed with Japan.

It was unclear why the test failed and an analysis was underway, the official said.

Since the recent test involved the newest family of Raytheon missiles, the significance of the reported failure is hard to determine at this point, Eric Gomez, policy analyst for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, said.

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The failure comes amid high tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. In late October, that contract was modified and the government tacked on an extra $59.7 million so the company could transition its Standard Missile-3 Block IIA program into production.

The Department of Defence confirmed to CNN that a test had taken place, but did not mention the result.

The Missile Defense Agency confirmed the outcome Thursday, after the interceptor failed to hit its target.

In the past year, the authoritarian country has increased its missile launch tests, with some missiles flying over the territory of Japan.

The other two elements of this missile launch safety net include the powerful radar-based THAAD system recently deployed in South Korea to the chagrin of the Chinese, and America's troubled GMD missile defense system here in the United States.

Branding North Korea's leadership as "depraved", U.S. President Donald Trump told Americans on Tuesday that Pyongyang's pursuit of nuclear missiles could "very soon threaten our homeland" and vowed a continued campaign of maximum pressure to keep that from happening.

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