U.S. to hold first Iran missile attack simulation

In January, the U.S. military will hold its first simulation of an attack from a long-range Iranian missile on the United States, as opposed to a North Korean one: It also would be more difficult testing the U.S. Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system against a missile that would be faster and more direct as it ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
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575506_091215_iranian2.jpg
Iranian clergymen stand next to air defence missiles during military exercises held near the city of Malayer, 300 kms southwest of the capital Tehran, on November 23, 2009. The war games are part of five days of manoeuvres which Iran began on November 22 aimed at preparing responses to aerial threats against the country's nuclear facilities -- from reconnaissance to actual assault. The Islamic republic has repeatedly held war games and boasted advances in its military capabilities in a bid to show its readiness to thwart any threats to its controversial nuclear programme. AFP PHOTO/FARS NEWS/ALI SHAIGAN (Photo credit should read ALI SHAIGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

In January, the U.S. military will hold its first simulation of an attack from a long-range Iranian missile on the United States, as opposed to a North Korean one:

It also would be more difficult testing the U.S. Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system against a missile that would be faster and more direct as it races toward the United States than a simulated strike from North Korea.

In January, the U.S. military will hold its first simulation of an attack from a long-range Iranian missile on the United States, as opposed to a North Korean one:

It also would be more difficult testing the U.S. Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system against a missile that would be faster and more direct as it races toward the United States than a simulated strike from North Korea.

“Previously, we have been testing the GMD system against a North Korean-type scenario,” O’Reilly said.

“This next test … is more of a head-on shot like you would use defending against an Iranian shot into the United States. So that’s the first time that we’re now testing in a different scenario.”

His comments came the same day that diplomats disclosed concerns among intelligence agencies that Iran tested a key atomic bomb component as recently as 2007. The finding, if proven true, would clash with Iran’s assertion that its nuclear work is for civilian use.

The test would fire an interceptor missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at a simulated incoming missile, launched from the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. An aide to O’Reilly estimated the cost at about $150 million.

Iran’s long-range Shahab-3 missile has a maximum range of about 1,200 miles. Long enough to hit Israel or even Greece, but well-short of hitting the United States.

ALI SHAIGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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