Raytheon kill vehicle succeeds in developmental flight test

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A Raytheon Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) successfully completed a data-gathering mission during a Missile Defense Agency (MDA) flight test on January 28, 2016. The mission’s objective was to observe inflight performance of redesigned components and gain valuable information on evolving threat classes.

EKVs are designed to destroy incoming ballistic threats while they are still in space. As part of the MDA test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, a ballistic missile target was launched and purposely not intercepted to demonstrate maximum maneuvering and data collection.

The successful mission proved the effectiveness of a recent redesign of the EKV thrusters, which provide the control necessary for lethal impact with incoming threats while safely outside of the Earth’s atmosphere.

The testing was supported by Raytheon’s sea-based X-band radar (SBX) and AN/TPY-2 radar, both of which play critical roles in supporting the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system.

Raytheon is simultaneously managing four kill vehicle programs – the EKV, the Standard Missile-3 kinetic vehicle, the Redesigned Kill Vehicle, and the Multi-Object Kill Vehicle. The Raytheon kill vehicle family has a combined record of more than 30 successful space intercepts.

February 2, 2016

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