After the successful launch this week by North Korea of an intercontinental ballistic missile, the U.S. will conduct a new test of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense in the coming days. The test which was actually planned several months ago is to check the country’s defense system against a simulated attack by an intermediate-range ballistic missile.

The Thaad flight test will be in early July, according to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. The country’s THAAD interceptors are in Guam. The U.S. also has a THAAD weapon system at the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak.

It is capable of detecting, tracking, and engaging a target with a THAAD interceptor.

Flight Test THAAD-18

Chris Johnson, a spokesman of MDA, said the test in early July will be designated as Flight Test THAAD-18, Reuters reported. The purpose of FTT-18 is to show the ability of THAAD to intercept a separating IRBM target, Vice Admiral James Syring, the former director of MAD, told Congress in a recent testimony.

Unlike the Midcourse Defense system which failed three of five tests, the THAAD had a 100 percent success in 13 flight tests conducted since 2006. THAAD, a ground-based missile defense system designed to strike short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles, can intercept its targets inside and outside the Earth’s atmosphere, according to Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor of the system.

In a joint statement in early June, Russia and China asked the U.S. to immediately stop the deployment of THAAD in South Korea. Beijing had been pressuring Seoul, which is hosting the system, by banning South Korean artists, movies and TV shows in China.

Live-fire drills of U.S. supersonic bombers

On Saturday, the U.S. also conducted live-fire drills in South Korea following North Korea’s ICBM launch.

Two B-1B Lancer strategic bombers flew from an American base in Guam. The two supersonic bombers were joined by American and South Korean jet fighters in a simulated destruction of an enemy ballistic missile launcher and underground facilities.

The military exercise was held at a range in Gangwon, a province in South Korea’s east.

The B-1B jets dropped weapons in the simulated attack on a missile launcher, according to the South Korean Air Force. The jets flew west, including the Demilitarized Zone boundary between North Korea and South Korea. After that, the jets left South Korean airspace, according to Reuters. On Friday, U.S. and South Korean forces held a joint missile and artillery exercise.