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Northrop Grumman To Test Fire Kinetic Energy Interceptor Booster In 2008

Kinetic energy interceptor.
by Staff Writers
Fairlakes VA (SPX) Feb 05, 2007
The Kinetic Energy Interceptor program, under development by prime contractor Northrop Grumman, is on schedule to meet the Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) objective of a 2008 booster flight, the company said today. The program successfully achieved all key proof-of-concept milestones in 2006 and is readying the system for a first flight test of this fast, new booster in 2008. As conceived by the MDA, KEI will be a mobile missile-defense system with the unique capability to destroy a hostile missile during its boost, ascent or midcourse phase of flight.

With mobility and flexibility not previously available, KEI will provide our nation with a robust regional, theater, and homeland defense system, capable of destroying medium and long-range ballistic missiles in their most vulnerable early battlespace.

"We're batting a thousand! The robust KEI testing program continues on a strong path forward, proceeding on schedule and on cost," said Craig Staresinich, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman KEI program.

"Our relentless focus on mission assurance is paying dividends. We've met every development milestone to date and have repeatedly demonstrated that the KEI concept and designs are not only viable, but also work. The entire KEI program team looks forward to demonstrating this extremely fast, mobile and flexible system during the initial booster flight in 2008."

In the past two years, the program has met a number of critical proof-of-concept milestones to mitigate risk for both the hardware and software. These include:

+ Successful completion of the Stage 1 and Stage 2 static-motor firings in 2006;

+ Four successful demonstrations - ahead of schedule - of the system's fire control capability in 2006 and 2005, proving that KEI can meet the short timelines necessary to hit a missile in the early minutes after launch;

+ Several successful high-speed wind tunnel tests.

In 2007, the Northrop Grumman KEI team is scheduled to complete several Stage 1 and Stage 2 motor firings and stage separation tests.

The Northrop Grumman KEI team is nationwide, with major operations in Fair Lakes, Va., and Huntsville, Ala. Principal teammates include Raytheon, Tucson, Ariz., ATK, Promontory, Utah; Orbital, Phoenix, Ariz.; Aerojet, Sacramento, Calif.; and Ball Aerospace, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Related Links
Kinetic Energy Interceptor at Northrop Grumman
Learn about missile defense at

Czech Government Says No To US Missile Shield Referendum
Prague (AFP) Jan 31, 2007
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolonek said Wednesday his government opposed holding a referendum on plans for the United States to build part of an anti-missile shield in the country. "We do not recommend the referendum", he was quoted as saying by the Czech news agency CTK, as he formally presented the issue to members of four parliamentary committees meeting in joint session.

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