Defense

December 21, 2015
 

Juno PTV successfully launched for Missile Defense Test

A Juno PTV, provided by the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, Calif., successfully launched from the U.S. Army’s Fort Wingate near Gallup, N.M., Dec. 10. The target missile soared high into the atmosphere on its way to the White Sands Missile Range to be intercepted by a Patriot Advanced Capability Three (PAC-3). SMC’s Rocket Systems Launch Program and its mission partners re-utilizes excess motors from Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles for U.S. government research, development, test and evaluation efforts. The Patriot Target Vehicle, also known as Juno, incorporates two solid rocket motors from the LGM-30F Minuteman II weapon system which was retired in 1994.

The U.S. Air Force’s Rocket Systems Launch Program and its mission partners successfully completed the fourth launch of a Patriot Test Vehicle today from the U.S. Army’s Fort Wingate near Gallup, N.M.
The rocket serves as an intercept target for the U.S. Army Lower Tier Project Office Patriot missile defense system.
“Continued success of the Juno target series provides a reliable and affordable test target for our U.S. Army mission partners,” said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Space and Missile Systems Center commander and Air Force program executive officer for space at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. “Congratulations to the Launch Enterprise team and its mission partners.”

A Patriot Target Vehicle, also known as Juno, provided by the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, Calif., is seen prior to launch from the U.S. Army’s Fort Wingate near Gallup, N.M., Dec. 10.

 

A Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (PAC-3 MSE) interceptor system, such as the one pictured here, successfully destroyed a Juno target vehicle provided by Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center, during a test of the U.S. Army Lower Tier Project Office Patriot missile defense system at White Sands Missile Range, N.M, Dec. 10, 2015. The Patriot Target Vehicle, also known as Juno, was designed to provide a realistic threat target. SMC’s Rocket Systems Launch Program and its mission partners re-utilizes excess motors from ICBMs for U.S. government research, development, test and evaluation efforts. The Juno PTV incorporates two solid rocket motors from the LGM-30F Minuteman II weapon system, which was retired in 1994.

The Patriot Target Vehicle, known as Juno, was designed by Orbital ATK to provide a realistic threat target, which meets the stringent performance requirements of the U.S. Army’s Patriot missile defense system. The target’s first stage lifts the rocket from its launch pad to above the earth’s atmosphere. After a short coast period, the rocket’s second stage ignites, extending the range of the target missile to complete its flight path into the defended footprint of a Patriot test battery. In addition to Orbital ATK’s work as the prime contractor for the target, TASC Inc. provided mission assurance services to independently verify and validate the Juno Target’s performance. 
The Juno PTV contributes toward meeting the Rocket Systems Launch Program responsibilities to re-utilize excess motors from intercontinental ballistic missiles for U.S. government research, development, test and evaluation efforts, incorporating two solid rocket motors from the LGM-30F Minuteman II weapon system, which was retired in 1994.
The Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, Calif., is the U.S. Air Force’s center of excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes the Global Positioning System, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space based infrared systems and space situational awareness capabilities.




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