Kauai HI (SPX) Nov 22, 2005
A Lockheed Martin led team has completed its second successful mission for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's (MDA's) Targets and Countermeasures Program, for which the company is prime contractor.
The Targets and Countermeasures Program provided the target missile system for MDA's successful test of a sea-based MDA Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Weapon System last Thursday. Launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, the target missile was intercepted by the Aegis weapon system aboard the USS Lake Erie.
"Our close partnership with the Missile Defense Agency on the Targets and Countermeasures Program made this mission success possible," said Linda Reiners, vice president, Missile Defense Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.
This test of the Aegis system demonstrated its preparedness in defending against short- and medium-range ballistic missile threats. The MDA and the U.S. Navy are jointly developing Aegis BMD as part of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors develops the Aegis BMD Weapon System and serves as the Combat System Engineering Agent for Aegis BMD.
"This mission demonstrated our teams' integration and launch services capabilities that are important for realistic and rigorous testing of the Ballistic Missile Defense System," said Jim Tevepaugh, program director, Targets and Countermeasures, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. Key Lockheed Martin subcontractors supporting this test included Battelle, ITT Industries and Orbital Sciences.
The Targets and Countermeasures Program completed its first mission Sept. 26, when it launched a test missile from a U.S. Air Force C-17 aircraft over the Pacific Ocean for the MDA's successful Cobra Dane radar tracking exercise.
The Targets and Countermeasures Program provides realistic test environments for the BMDS being developed by the MDA to defend against all classes of ballistic missiles.
The MDA awarded Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company the Targets and Countermeasures prime contract in 2003. Lockheed Martin's team includes six major subcontractors. The team's expertise spans systems engineering, design, manufacture and air-, land- and sea-launch capabilities.
The Flexible Targets Family approach to be implemented in 2007 will further reduce cost and cycle time through the use of common subsystems and components for reentry vehicles, instrumentation, boosters and ground support.
Lockheed Martin performs Targets and Countermeasures Program management and systems engineering at its facility in Arlington, Va., and engineering at its facilities in Huntsville, Ala., Denver, Colo., Albuquerque, N.M., and Sunnyvale, Calif.
The MRT-1 vehicle served as an intercept target for the Navy's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) System and was launched yesterday from the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai, Hawaii.
MRT-1 flew a trajectory northwest of Kauai and was intercepted by the Navy's Standard Missile (SM-3) interceptor system before reentering the Earth's atmosphere. The MRT-1 was the first of several medium-range targets Orbital is prepared to launch under contract to Lockheed Martin in support of the Aegis BMD test program.
The MRT target is also part of Lockheed Martin's Flexible Target Family (FTF), currently under development for responsive and cost-effective missile defense system testing.
"We are very pleased to provide a successful target launch and presentation for our immediate Lockheed Martin customer, and the Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) Aegis BMD program," said Mr. Ron Grabe, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Orbital's Launch Systems Group.
"This target launch and intercept mission has been several years in the making and we're excited to have played a key role in achieving such an important testing milestone.
"We also appreciate the opportunity for Lockheed Martin and Orbital mission management and engineering teams to work together to ensure mission success, as an integrated team throughout target vehicle integration and launch operations."
Orbital originally developed the MRT multiple-launch-mode target vehicle over a two-year period under contract to the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC), according to specifications that require launch capability from ground, air, or sea, a broad range of ballistic trajectories and integration of flexible hardware and software designs.
These flexible designs allow customers to select from a wide variety of mission parameters in a single target design, just a short period of time before mission execution.
Orbital is one of the country's most experienced developers and operators of missile defense-related launch vehicles. The company supports virtually all of the country's major missile defense programs with cost-effective and highly reliable target vehicles.
In addition to the Aegis BMD, Orbital's target vehicles are used to test MDA's Ground-based Midcourse Defense system (GMD), the U.S. Army's Patriot PAC-3 and THAAD system. Orbital also produces the new "Coyote" ramjet-powered sea-skimming supersonic target vehicle for the U.S. Navy's ship self-defense systems.
The Nov. 17 mission was the first test against a separating ballistic missile target. The SM-3 Block I initial deployment round used in the test was an operational missile delivered by Raytheon last year for testing and availability for emergency deployment.
In the operationally realistic scenario, the SM-3 was launched from USS Lake Erie, an Aegis BMD cruiser, and hit the target missile that had been launched from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii.
The ship's crew was not informed of the target launch time and operational testers observed the exercise to ensure a realistic wartime environment.
"SM-3 continues to perform flawlessly in increasingly challenging scenarios. This test, using a missile right from the Navy's inventory, was conducted in operational conditions," said Edward Miyashiro, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president, Naval Weapon Systems.
"Continued success provides confidence that the nation can increase the number of systems deployed and make missile capability improvements. We are even seeing our international allies taking a closer look at SM-3 for their homeland defense. Sea-based ballistic missile defense provides a global capability."
Japan has decided to procure SM-3 and the Aegis BMD system for its Kongo class ships.
Raytheon's Missile Systems business is developing SM-3 and leads the integrated team effort, which includes Alliant Techsystems, Aerojet, and Boeing.
The SM-3 was launched from the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) equipped cruiser, USS Lake Erie. The successful test destroyed a separating ballistic missile target's re-entry vehicle outside the earth's atmosphere during a Missile Defense Agency / Aegis BMD Program flight test over the Pacific Ocean.
This was the sixth successful intercept for Aegis BMD using ATK's TSRM and SDACS propulsion technology for missile defense missions. After the SM-3 was launched from an Aegis BMD cruiser, the advanced TSRM narrowed the intercept envelope before handing off terminal guidance to the SDACS, which performed a series of maneuvers to keep the SM-3 on target all the way to intercept.
The target missile was launched from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii.
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express
Raytheon Standard Missile-3 Intercepts Ballistic Missile Target
Kauai HI (SPX) Nov 18, 2005
A Raytheon-produced Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) destroyed a ballistic missile target outside the earth's atmosphere during a Missile Defense Agency / Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program flight test over the Pacific Ocean.
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|