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Orbital Launches PTV For Missile Defense Test

by Staff Writers
Dulles VA (SPX) Mar 04, 2011
Orbital Sciences has announced that it successfully launched a Patriot Target Vehicle (PTV) under a direct contract with the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) Space Development and Test Directorate (SD). The PTV served as an intercept target for the Lower Tier Project Office Patriot missile defense system.

The PTV was launched on March 2, 2011 from Fort Wingate Launch Complex-96 into White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico. It flew a southerly trajectory over New Mexico into WSMR and was intercepted by the Patriot Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) interceptor system during reentry.

This PTV, known as Juno, was the second of two targets Orbital is under contract to launch in support of the Patriot MSE test and evaluation program.

"We are very pleased to support the U.S. Air Force and the Lower Tier Projects Office with a second successful target launch, culminating in a positive intercept indication," said Mr. Ron Wiley, Senior Vice President of Suborbital Targets Programs at Orbital.

"We look forward to supporting future tests for the Space Development and Test Directorate with the PTV, which has demonstrated its performance as a reliable test platform for future SD missions and Patriot engagements."

Orbital developed the PTV target vehicle over a two and a half year period according to specifications that require the vehicle to have selectable reentry dynamic performance. The PTV Juno rocket relied heavily on flight-proven designs from other Orbital launch vehicles, such as the Medium Range Target, Storm target and Pegasus space launch vehicles.

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Milestone Nears For European Missile Defense Plan
Washington DC (AFPS) Mar 04, 2011
The U.S. plan to defend Europe from a rapidly increasing ballistic missile threat will reach a milestone next week with the first deployment of missile defense technology, a senior Defense Department official said yesterday. "The ballistic missile threat is real, and it's now," said John F. Plumb, the Pentagon's principal director for nuclear and missile defense policy, adding that the pha ... read more

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