By AUDREY McAVOY
HONOLULU (AP) - The U.S. military says it has successfully tested an interceptor that can shoot down ballistic missiles as well as airplanes.
The Missile Defense Agency said Monday the destroyer USS John Paul Jones tested the technology during a series of flight tests off the Hawaiian island of Kauai over the past week.
Raytheon Missile Systems spokeswoman Heather Uberuaga says the tests used a modified version of the SM-6 missile the Navy already uses.
The existing version can shoot down airplanes, helicopters and cruise missiles. The newer model tested off Hawaii may also destroy ballistic missiles in their last few seconds of flight.
Raytheon says the updated missile is on course to be operational next year. It would join the Navy's arsenal of missile-destroying interceptors.