Defense

June 23, 2014

Missile test important step for missile defense system

Tags:
Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

The Missile Defense Agency’s Flight Test 06b Ground-Based Interceptor launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., June 22, 2014.

The Missile Defense Agency and its joint partners completed the first intercept using the second-generation exoatmospheric kill vehicle, or EKV, during a test over the Pacific Ocean June 22.

All components seemed to perform as designed, MDA officials said in a statement, and program officials will spend the next several months assessing and evaluating system performance based on telemetry and other test data.

The test, called flight test ground-based interceptor-06b, or FTG-06b, will provide the data needed for the assessment and to assess the performance of many Ballistic Missile Defense System elements for homeland defense, officials said.

The MDA, the Air Force’s 30th Space Wing, Joint Functional Component Command, Integrated Missile Defense, U.S. Northern Command and the Navy were involved in the integrated exercise.

“This is a very important step in our continuing efforts to improve and increase the reliability of our homeland ballistic missile defense system, Missile Defense Agency Director Navy Vice Adm. James D. Syring said in a statement.

We’ll continue efforts to ensure our deployed ground-based interceptors and our overall homeland defensive architecture continue to provide the warfighter an effective and dependable system to defend the country, he added, after congratulating the government and industry team that conducted the test.

Their professionalism and dedication made this test a success, Syring said.

The BMDS is designed to counter ballistic missile threats of all ranges — short, medium, intermediate and long. The system has many integrated elements and a layered architecture that offers several ways to destroy incoming missiles and warheads before they reach their targets.

The architecture includes networked sensors and ground- and sea-based radars to detect and track targets, and ground- and sea-based interceptor missiles like the EKV to destroy a ballistic missile using the kinetic energy from a direct hit. This is called hit-to-kill technology. An explosive blast fragmentation warhead also can destroy a ballistic missile.

Yesterday’s successful test used the second-generation capability enhancement II, or CE-II, EKV. The architecture also includes a command-and-control, battle-management and communications network that gives operational commanders links between sensors and interceptor missiles.

Earlier this month, Syring testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee on the agency’s budget request for fiscal year 2015. My highest priority remains the successful intercept flight test of the CE-II [variant] exoatmospheric kill vehicle, he told the senators.

Missile Defense Agency photograph

The Missile Defense Agency’s Flight Test 06b Ground-Based Interceptor launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., June 22, 2014.

In December 2010, two intercept tests of the EKV failed, but in January 2013 the agency conducted a successful nonintercept flight test of the EKV and confirmed it was on the right path to return the ground-based midcourse defense element of the system to sustained flight testing.

During yesterday’s test, an intermediate-range ballistic missile target representing a threat to the U.S. homeland was launched from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The Navy destroyer USS Hopper, with its Aegis weapon system, detected and tracked the target using onboard AN/SPY-1 radar that sent data to the ground-based midcourse defense fire-control system via the command, control, battle management and communication system. The sea-based X-band radar also tracked the target and relayed information to the GMD fire control system to help with target engagement and to collect test data.

About six minutes after target launch, the ground-based interceptor launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Then an operational crew of soldiers from the Army’s 100th Missile Defense Brigade at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado remotely launched the interceptor, and a three-stage booster rocket system propelled the interceptor’s EKV into the target missile’s projected trajectory in space.

The kill vehicle maneuvered to the target, performed discrimination – or determined the difference between the warhead and a decoy – and intercepted the threat warhead using only the force of the direct collision to destroy it.

This was the first intercept using the second-generation EKV.

The test was the 65th successful hit-to-kill intercept of 81 attempts since 2001 for the Ballistic Missile Defense System, officials said. The system’s ground-based midcourse defense element has completed four intercepts since 2006 using the operationally configured interceptor.

Operational ground-based interceptors are deployed at Fort Greely in Alaska and at Vandenberg, MDA officials said in a statement, to protect the United States and its allies and friends against a limited long-range ballistic missile attack.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines January 30, 2015

News: Taliban claims responsibility for attack on Americans at military base near airport - The Taliban claimed responsibility Jan. 30 for a shooting incident at a military base attached to Kabul’s international airport yesterday that killed three American civilian contractors and an Afghan national, saying the attacker had infiltrated the ranks of the security forces. Commission...
 
 

News Briefs January 30, 2015

Military judge weighs restrictions on Gitmo female guards A military judge is deciding whether to continue restricting the use of female guards at Guantanamo. Navy Capt. J. Kirk Waits heard closing arguments Jan. 29 at the base in Cuba during a pretrial hearing for Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi. Waits didn’t say when he will rule. Hadi...
 
 
Air Force photograph by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey

Cope South experts exchange knowledge, techniques

Air Force photograph by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey TSgt. Sam Bishop, center left, and SSgt. Jeffrey Stephens discuss propeller maintenance with Bangladesh air force maintainers, from the 101st Special Flying Unit, during exercise Cope...
 

 

Air Force names 2-star to lead F-35 Integration Office

With the initial operating capability date of the F-35 Lightning II quickly approaching, the Air Force appointed Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian as the director of a larger Air Force F-35 Integration Office, Feb. 1. In addition to gaining new leadership, the F-35 Integration Office will also grow from a staff of four to 12 and...
 
 
boeing-ana2

Boeing announces ANA’s commitment to more jetliners

Airline continues fleet modernization with Boeing airplanes Boeing and All Nippon Airways announced Jan. 30 the airline’s intent to purchase three 787-10 Dreamliners to add additional flexibility to the airline’s 787 fleet....
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

Air Force risks becoming too small to succeed under sequestration

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee Jan. 28, 2015, in Washington, D.C., as Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joesph F. Dunf...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>