(CNN) - The U.S. military successfully tested its $40 billion missile defense system on Tuesday.
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency says the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, shot down a target over Alaska.
The system uses radar and interceptors launched from trucks to shoot down short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles. Some analysts say it's like shooting down a bullet with another bullet.
A U.S. defense official tells CNN the test is not related to North Korea's recent long-range missile launch.
"A ballistic missile target was air-launched by a U.S. Air Force C-17 over the Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii. A THAAD weapon system located at PSCA (Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska) in Kodiak, Alaska, detected, tracked and intercepted the target," a release by the Agency said.
The mission of the agency is to "develop and deploy a layered ballistic missile defense system to defend the United States, its deployed forces, allies and friends from ballistic missile attacks of all ranges in all phases of flight."
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