Anti-Satellite II. [Conclusion]
This is coolbert:
Here is the full and complete dope on the missile that will shoot-down the errant American satellite.
"Inside America's Satellite-Killing Missile"
"Today, the U.S. Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system uses the Standard Missile (SM)-3 to make what are known as 'direct intercepts.' That means there's no explosion in space. Instead, the SM-3 destroys its target by ramming into with lots and lots of sheer kinetic energy [this is the bullet hitting a bullet concept]"
The Standard Missile - 3 with improved software for guidance is aboard the Aegis missile cruiser for this "test". The missile has too been modified [with regard to software] in some manner?
"Launch details: A Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) missile, with an anti-satellite payload will be launched from the USS Lake Erie by the US Navy to intercept the USA-193 satellite. Launch will occur no earlier than 20 February 2008, and no later than early March. Most reports suggest sometime between 20-25 February."
Read about the U.S. Navy anti-missile capability here.
This is not necessarily the first time that the Standard Missile - 3 has been used in the capacity for which it is now intended. Actually has been used "routinely" for such tests and has been successful MOST of the time?
"Right now, the SM-3 has tested against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, and has made twelve intercepts out of fourteen attempts during testing. These intercepts have been made while the target is in space"
Go U.S. Navy! I have a hunch a lot is riding on a successful intercept and destruction of that satellite.