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Raytheon Helps Ballistic Missile Intercept In Space

The Raytheon-built Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle.
by Staff Writers
Tucson AZ (SPX) Sep 04, 2006
Raytheon Company components played key roles in the destruction of a ballistic missile target in the latest successful flight test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system conducted Sept. 1. The Raytheon-built Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) intercepted the ballistic missile target in space over the eastern Pacific Ocean.

The Raytheon-developed Upgraded Early Warning Radar (UEWR) at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., successfully tracked the target system for approximately 15 minutes during its flight downrange to the test several hundred miles west of California.

The test marked the first time an operationally configured ground-based interceptor was launched from an operational GMD site, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The target was launched from Kodiak, Alaska.

This test, designated Flight Test-2 (FT-2), did not have a target interception as a primary objective, but it demonstrated the EKV's ability to successfully detect, track, discriminate and destroy a target in space.

"This highly successful test of the GMD system demonstrates Raytheon's systems performance and reliability," said Louise Francesconi, Raytheon Missile Systems president. "FT-2 clearly demonstrates the maturity of our technology and our ability to provide this critical capability to the nation."

"We're pleased that once again the Beale UEWR performed as expected, successfully demonstrating its missile defense capability," said Pete Franklin, vice president, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems Missile Defense Business Area. "This test confirms the radar's ability to provide information to the GMD Ground Fire Control to support an intercept."

During the flight, the EKV received target updates from the In-Flight Interceptor Communication System and performed a star shot to calibrate its own position. The EKV observed the target complex with its advanced multi-color infrared seeker and successfully selected the target.

During the end game, as the target grew in the seeker's field of view, EKV selected the aimpoint and maneuvered for a direct, lethal hit. The closing velocity was in excess of 15,000 miles per hour.

This test follows another successful GMD mission in December 2005, which demonstrated the system's capability to launch a ground-based interceptor, conduct EKV separation and deliver the EKV to the desired point in space and time.

Raytheon is a major subcontractor to The Boeing Company on the GMD program, providing the EKV, the UEWR and the radar component for SBX (Sea-based X-band radar.)

Continuing the Raytheon heritage with UHF phased array radars, the Beale UEWR program upgrades existing PAVE PAWS and Ballistic Missile Early Warning System radars by adding missile defense capabilities while retaining missile warning and space surveillance missions. The UEWR provides midcourse target detection and tracking for the GMD.

Boeing-led Team Conducts Successful Missile Defense Flight Test

Boeing, working with industry teammates and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, today successfully completed a missile defense flight test that demonstrated the increased operational capability of the nation's only defense against long-range ballistic missiles.

The test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system began at 1:22 p.m. Eastern when a long-range ballistic missile target lifted off from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska. Seventeen minutes later, military operators launched an interceptor from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

After flying into space, the interceptor released its exo-atmospheric kill vehicle, which proceeded to track the target warhead. Due to earlier program accomplishments, several test objectives were accelerated and included in this test.

The test achieved several significant objectives for the first time:

+ An operationally configured interceptor was fired from an operational GMD site;
+ An operationally configured interceptor tracked a ballistic missile;
+ A newly upgraded missile-warning radar at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., provided target data to an in-flight interceptor;

The mission-control center at the Joint National Integration Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., controlled a live GMD engagement.

Although not a primary objective of the test, the kill vehicle intercepted the warhead and destroyed it. This was the first intercept with an operationally configured interceptor.

The test also laid groundwork for the program's planned intercept in late 2006.

"Today's successful test is a major accomplishment for the GMD team and demonstrates a significant step in GMD's evolution to a robust and reliable capability for the warfighter," said Pat Shanahan, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems.

"A key radar collected target information and shared it with an operationally configured interceptor, the interceptor used that data to zero in on a target in space, and battle managers oversaw this activity in real time from thousands of miles away. The team is energized and focused as they continue to see the pivotal role they are playing in developing and deploying a missile defense system that protects the United States."

GMD provides the nation a limited defensive capability against long-range ballistic missiles, with interceptors deployed in underground silos at Vandenberg Air Force Base and Ft. Greely, Alaska. An integral element of the global ballistic missile defense system, GMD also consists of radars, other sensors, command-and-control facilities, communications terminals and a 20,000-mile fiber optic communications network.

Boeing is the prime contractor for GMD, the central element of the Missile Defense Agency's overall layered ballistic missile defense architecture. Industry partners include Raytheon, Orbital Sciences Corp., and Northrop Grumman.

Northrop Grumman Plays Key Role in Successful Missile Defense Intercept Test

Northrop Grumman Corporation's fire control and launch control equipment software, developed for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) ground-based midcourse defense (GMD) system, successfully performed today during MDA's Flight Test 2, where the interceptor successfully tracked and subsequently destroyed the target warhead over the Pacific Ocean.

These software systems play a pivotal role in launching the system's ground-based interceptor and orchestrating the overall engagement sequence.

Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector is responsible for designing and deploying key components of the GMD system, including the GMD Fire Control (GFC), In-flight Interceptor Communications System Data Terminal (IDT), Communications Network Equipment (CNE), Network System Manager (NSM), and Command Launch Equipment (CLE) software, all under contract to The Boeing Company.

The test involved launching a ground-based interceptor from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) against a target missile launched from Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska. While the primary objectives of the test were to demonstrate and evaluate the interceptor launch and to characterize the end-game performance of the exoatmospheric kill vehicle as it approached the target, the interceptor intercepted the target. Successfully exercising the fire control and launch operations procedures was critical to the test's success.

"Once again, the outstanding execution of Northrop Grumman's software and hardware products played a pivotal role in the successful direction of the kill vehicle to its intended target," said Frank Moore, vice president of Northrop Grumman Mission Systems Missile Defense Division.

"I am proud of our team's dedicated efforts and ability to continually meet the challenges of one of the most formidable missions in the Department of Defense. We remain committed to MDA's mission, and look forward to continuing our support of the testing, deployment and sustainment of this critical missile defense capability."

The GFC products orchestrate the components of the GMD element of the nation's midcourse missile defense program and provide critical targeting data that guide ground-based interceptors until their on-board sensors acquire their targets. The system's software coordinates sensor and interceptor operations during flight and provides vital decision-support information to combatant commanders.

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems personnel in Huntsville, Ala., develop the GMD products, with additional development sites in Colorado Springs, Colo., Melbourne, Fla., and Anaheim, Calif. More than 600 people are employed on this project at these four locations. Northrop Grumman's GFC products have performed successfully in every GMD flight test to date and were recognized in 2003 and 2005 with a Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) level 5 rating from the Software Engineering Institute for best practices in software development and systems engineering.

As a primary supplier of missile defense technology, Northrop Grumman plays a key role in all phases of our nation's layered missile defense system. Northrop Grumman's domain expertise delivers essential capabilities and technologies that integrate functions across all elements of the ballistic missile defense system.

Programs such as the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, Space Tracking and Surveillance System, Joint National Integration Center, the chemical laser portion of the Airborne Laser, and the fire control capability for the Ground-based Midcourse System are just a few of the contributions the company is making to the nation's missile defense efforts. For more information about Northrop Grumman in missile defense, go to

Related Links
Missile Defense at Northrop Grumman
Learn about missile defense at

PAC-3 Missile Destroys Tactical Ballistic Missile In Test
Dallas TX (SPX) Sep 04, 2006
Lockheed Martin's Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile successfully intercepted and destroyed an incoming Tactical Ballistic Missile (TBM) target yesterday during a flight test at White Sands Missile Range, NM. This was the 19th successful flight test out of 22 conducted to date.

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