Thursday, December 13, 2012
The San Diego-based USS Benfold was one of several warships sent last week to track the missile launched from North Korea on Wednesday.
NBC News reports the Navy sent the guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold, the Aegis guided-missile cruiser Shiloh, along with guided-missile destroyers USS John S. McCain and USS Fitzgerald to the Korean peninsula on December 7.
An unnamed defense official told U-T San Diego that the Navy ships were able to track the missile after it was launched last night, saying:
“[They had] solid radar contact on the missile.”
The North American Aerospace Defense Command said in a statement that the missile appeared to achieve orbit:
The missile was tracked on a southerly azimuth. Initial indications are that the first stage fell into the Yellow Sea. The second stage was assessed to fall into the Philippine Sea. Initial indications are that the missile deployed an object that appeared to achieve orbit. At no time was the missile or the resultant debris a threat to North America.