The Pentagon is planning to conduct two major high-stake tests in May to test their ability to shoot down missiles launched out of North Korea. These tests in the Pacific are a part of the US military's overall ballistic missile defense program to defend against North Korean or Iranian threats, but for now they are aimed at ensuring the US can defend against a threat from North Korea. One of the tests will involve test-firing an improved Standard Missile off a Navy ship, and they are taking place over the Pacific because test ranges are large enough to accommodate them. The upgraded missile has only been tested once before, the newer version has an improved booster and warhead. This means the missile can fire from longer ranges and have a greater chance of hitting the incoming threatening missile.