LWI - Land Warfare

US GMD system completes test

2nd February 2016 - 12:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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A Boeing-led team successfully tested improvements to the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, validating system components with its partners and the US Missile Defense Agency, Boeing announced on 28 January.

During the test, a GMD interceptor launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base , California. It performed an intentional fly-by of a target representing an advanced long-range ballistic missile. This was done to demonstrate the interceptor's maximum manoeuvring and to enhance data collection.

A Raytheon Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) completed a data-gathering mission during the flight test. EKVs are designed to destroy ballistic threats while they are still in space. The mission objective was to observe the in-flight performance of the redesigned system components and gain information on evolving threat classes. The tests were supported by Raytheon's AN/TPY-2 radar and sea-based X-band radar (SBX).

Taylor Lawrence, president, Raytheon Missile Systems, said: ‘This was a remarkable data-collection opportunity. 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 US homeland.’

Norm Tew, vice president and program director, GMD, Boeing, said: ‘The Missile Defense Agency’s test design enabled the collection of critical data to validate key design improvements for the US homeland defence architecture. This data will also support future development such as the work that’s currently underway on the Boeing-led redesigned kill vehicle.’

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