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 August 28, 2015

Business: Rafale, Mistral on agenda for Le Drian in Malaysia, India¬†– French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is due to visit Malaysia Aug. 30, with talks expected to cover the Rafale fighter jet and Mistral helicopter carrier, website La Tribune reported. U.S. Army to choose new landing craft next year¬†– In line with the Pentagon’s...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2015

Boeing plans to lay off some Southern California workers Boeing has announced that it plans to lay off employees at its Southern California-based satellite division. The Los Angeles Times reports that the aerospace giant said Aug. 25 that it will lay off as many as several hundred employees at the El Segundo factory. Boeing says...
 
 

Special tactics Airmen killed in hostile incident

Two special tactics airmen, who were deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, were killed near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan, Aug. 26. Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, and SSgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 31, were at a vehicle checkpoint when two individuals wearing Afghan National Defense and Security Forces uniforms opened fire on them. NATO service members...
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 
LM-MUOS

U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin ready to launch MUOS-4 Aug. 31

The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are ready to launch the fourth Mobile User Objective System secure communications satellite, MUOS-4, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Aug. 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>