— During a Missile Defense Agency test of Boeing’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, Raytheon’s Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle destroyed a complex, long-range ballistic missile target in space.
It was the ninth intercept for the GMD program, which is designed to protect the U.S. against long-range ballistic missile attack by destroying incoming threats outside of the Earth’s atmosphere.
“This test marked the 35th successful space intercept for the Raytheon kill vehicle family, which includes both EKV and the Standard Missile-3 kill vehicles,” said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems. “These are among our industry’s most complex systems. Testing is critically important to ensuring the advancement of reliable kill vehicles for the protection of the U.S. and its allies.”
Today’s test keeps the United States on track to increase its ground-based interceptor inventory to 44 by 2017. It represented the second consecutive successful flight and first successful intercept for the EKV’s Capability Enhancement-II kill vehicle, which incorporates hardware and software modifications.
The LV-2 ballistic missile target representing an intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from the Reagan Test site on Kwajalein Atoll, and the interceptor was fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. After receiving tracking and targeting data from sea and space-based sensors, the EKV identified the threat, discriminated between the target and countermeasures, maneuvered into the target’s path and destroyed it using “hit-to-kill” technology.
During the test, Raytheon’s X-band Radar acquired the target after launch, discriminated the threat, and passed targeting data to the EKV during flight via the GMD system.
Leveraging more than two decades of kill vehicle technology expertise, the EKV is designed to destroy incoming ballistic missile threats by colliding with them, a concept often described as “hit to kill.”
* EKV has an advanced multi-color sensor used to detect and discriminate incoming warheads from other objects.
* The EKV has its own propulsion, communications link, discrimination algorithms, guidance and control system and computers to support target selection and intercept.
* EKV is deployed and operational today.