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MDA Test Fires Kinetic Energy Interceptor Motor

"Having three highly successful test firings solidifies that we have a robust design leading to booster flight in 2008 and eventually providing our nation with the most advance missile defense capability." said Bill Condas, vice president, Strategic and Commercial Systems, ATK Launch Systems Group. "Our team's commitment to this technology and mission assurance will ensure success as we move forward through each milestone."
by Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst
Washington (UPI) June 19, 2007
MDA Director Lt. Gen. Henry A. "Trey" Obering said Friday the agency had successfully carried out the testing of the first-stage rocket motor of its new Kinetic Energy Interceptor, or KEI, a high-speed, three-stage interceptor system designed to destroy incoming ballistic missiles.

The Missile Defense Agency said in a statement that the static test firing was carried out at the Alliant Techsystems Inc. facility in Promontory, Utah. The test involved "the successful ignition of the rocket motor, a full-duration 'burn,' and demonstrated the performance of the motor assembly and thrust vector control nozzle for what will be a very high-acceleration, high-velocity and extremely maneuverable interceptor missile," the MDA said.

"This was the second of five planned first stage rocket motor ground tests," the agency said. "Following continued developmental tests of rocket motor stages and interceptor equipment, the Kinetic Energy Interceptor plans to conduct its first flight test in 2008," it said.

Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the KEI program.

Alliant Techsystems, or ATK, said in a statement that the test was "the third in a series of static motor firings leading up to the program's first booster flight in 2008."

"Northrop Grumman is leading the industry team charged with developing and testing a KEI capability under contract to MDA. Raytheon Company is responsible for developing and integrating the KEI system's interceptor. The initial test results for the ignition and burn time matched expectations for motor performance and integrity," the ATK statement said.

"Having three highly successful test firings solidifies that we have a robust design leading to booster flight in 2008 and eventually providing our nation with the most advance missile defense capability." said Bill Condas, vice president, Strategic and Commercial Systems, ATK Launch Systems Group. "Our team's commitment to this technology and mission assurance will ensure success as we move forward through each milestone."

ATK said the KEI would be "deployable anywhere in the world using U.S. military aircraft."

The system was "being designed for easy transition to sea-based platforms," it said.

"As a member of the Raytheon interceptor team, ATK will produce all stages of propulsion for the integrated flight vehicle," the company said. "The KEI canister launch-eject gas generators will be produced by ATK in Rocket Center, W.Va."

Source: United Press International

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Putin Plays The BMD Game For Keeps
Washington (UPI) June 15, 2007
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