Biden’s Space Force fires new interceptor missile as tensions peak in South China Sea

China 'wants to hide ballistic missiles' in the sea says expert

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The missile was launched from a silo at the Space Force Base in California by the US Missile Defense Agency. Colonel Robert Long, Space Launch Delta 30 commander said: “Team Vandenberg has a long history of collaborating with our Missile Defense Agency partners to ensure safe launch operations for missile defence tests. It’s an honour for Space Launch Delta 30 to work with our mission partners on this important national security test.”

Noozhawk reported that the military had warned mariners to keep out of the area off the coast, by the northern part of the base.

Originally planned for 2020, the test had been delayed due to the availability of ground-based interceptor hardware and software, Government Accountability Office has reported.

The missile is part of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system.

It is designed to provide a defence against long-range missile attacks on the US.

The test comes after US naval ships arrived in the South China Sea, with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group entered the region for the first time since getting deployed.

The group’s commander, Rear Admiral Dan Martin, said in a statement: “The freedom of all nations to navigate in international waters is important, and especially vital in the South China Sea, where nearly a third of global maritime trade transits each year.”

The move comes as military tensions in the South China Sea continue to soar.

The South China Sea is a strategic waterway where an estimated one-third of world shipping travels, equating to more than £2.9trillion ($4trillion) in trade.

And China has already built up a presence on 20 islands in the region via navy and air bases or through continuous patrols.

US fighter jets have already been doing exercises to test interoperability if it comes to a crisis.

Vice President Kamala Harris warned China last month during her tour of Singapore and Vietnam: “We welcome stiff competition – we do not seek conflict.

“But on issues like you raise, the South China Sea, we’re going to speak up.”

And the move has also come after military tensions have soared between the US and Russia due to military activity in the Arctic from both nations.

The Arctic is strategically very important for Russian President, Vladimir Putin who views it as an essential part of maintaining global power.

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For the US, Alaskan oil and gas supplies are critical for the economy.

Pavel Devyatkin, of The Arctic Institute, told The Sun: “2020 was an unprecedented year in US-Russia tensions in the Arctic.

“For the first time since the Cold War, Nato warships entered the Barents Sea just off Russia’s Arctic coast.

“And, a few months later, the Russian Navy conducted military exercises near Alaska, surprising American fisherman.”

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