26 Jan 13. Ground-Based Interceptor Completes Successful Flight Test. The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully completed a flight test of a three-stage ground-based interceptor (GBI), launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 2 p.m. (PST) on January 26th. Data from this flight test will be used to evaluate the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle system performance in a flight environment. If a target missile were present, the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle would collide directly with the threat warhead to perform a hit-to-kill intercept. Engineering data from this test will be used to improve confidence for future intercept missions. A target missile launch was not planned for this flight test. After performing fly out maneuvers, the three-stage booster deployed the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle to a designated point in space. After separating from the booster, the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle executed a variety of pre-planned maneuvers to collect performance data in space. Initial indications are that all components performed as designed. Program officials will assess and evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test. The event, designated Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Control Test Vehicle (GM CTV)-01, is part of an extensive test series initiated after the Flight Test Ground-Based Interceptor (FTG)-06a failure in December 2010. The Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle flown during GM CTV-01 was modified based on findings from the FTG-06a Failure Review Board. This test is the critical first step in returning GMD to successful intercept testing.
26 Jan 13. Boeing, working with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and industry teammates, returned the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system to testing with a successful flight. GMD is the United States’ only defense against long-range ballistic missile threats.
“Today’s test signals the next step in GMD’s future capability and is the culmination of successful partnerships among government, military leaders and industry,” said Greg Hyslop, vice president and general manager for Boeing Strategic Missile and Defense Systems. “Throughout our team effort to solve one of the toughest challenges facing the aerospace industry, GMD remained on alert and continues to defend the United States.”
GMD flight testing was halted in early 2011 after a guidance error resulted in a failed intercept in a December 2010 test.
26 Jan 13. Raytheon Company’s upgraded Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle played a mission-critical role in a non-intercept flight test of Boeing’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense program. The EKV is a vital component of the GMD’s Ground-Based Interceptor. The EKV allows the GBI to lock on and eliminate high-speed ballistic missile warheads in space using nothing more than the force of impact. During the test, the EKV performed as planned, maneuvering the interceptor to the appropriate altitude and closing velocity required for an intercept.
27 Jan 13. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s command launch equipment (CLE) software effectively launched the ground-based interceptor in the flight test of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA’s) Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system. During the GMD flight test, known as CTV-01, a ground-based interceptor was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., to test changes that have been made to the exoatmospheric kill vehicle. The CLE software controls the interceptor while on the ground, computes the detailed intercept trajectory and provides it to the interceptor, and at the appropriate time commands the interceptor’s ignition and launch.
27 Jan 13. Aerojet’s Divert and Attitude Control Subsystem (DACS) on the modified Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) performed its mission-critical role in a planned non-intercept flight test of Boeing’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense(GMD) program. The EKV DACS provided the critical trajectory adjustments to satisfy the mission objectives. During the flight