Boeing-led Missile Defense Team Completes 2-Stage Interceptor Booster Test

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., June 6, 2010 — The Boe­ing Com­pa­ny [NYSE: BA], indus­try team­mates and the U.S. Mis­sile Defense Agency (MDA) today com­plet­ed a suc­cess­ful flight test of the two-stage ground-based inter­cep­tor (GBI) of the Ground-based Mid­course Defense (GMD) sys­tem, the Unit­ed States’ only long-range bal­lis­tic mis­sile defense sys­tem.

A two-stage ground-based interceptor (GBI)
A two-stage ground-based inter­cep­tor (GBI)
Source: Boe­ing
Click to enlarge

“Hav­ing sup­port­ed the MDA on GMD since its incep­tion, through field­ing and sus­tain­ment, it is a tremen­dous hon­or to watch the sys­tem con­tin­ue to evolve with this suc­cess­ful two-stage flight test,” said Greg Hys­lop, vice pres­i­dent and gen­er­al man­ag­er of Boe­ing Strate­gic Mis­sile & Defense Sys­tems. “As world events con­tin­ue to show that bal­lis­tic mis­sile threats are real, this sys­tem offers U.S. warfight­ers a robust and reli­able hedge-capa­bil­i­ty to defend their home­land. Boe­ing is proud to be a part of GMD’s con­tin­u­ing suc­cess.”

The test began at 3:25 p.m. Pacif­ic time when the two-stage GBI lift­ed off from Van­den­berg Air Force Base. The GBI — car­ry­ing an oper­a­tional Exo-atmos­pher­ic Kill Vehi­cle (EKV) pay­load — mea­sured per­for­mance data for the new two-stage design as well as how an oper­a­tional­ly con­fig­ured EKV oper­ates under stress­ful bound­ary con­di­tions. The two-stage GBI has more than 95 per­cent com­mon­al­i­ty with the three-stage GBIs cur­rent­ly deployed in under­ground silos at Van­den­berg and at Fort Greely, Alas­ka, and uses exist­ing flight-qual­i­fied com­po­nents.

“Today’s test not only pro­vid­ed unique data that will allow us to char­ac­ter­ize two-stage GBI per­for­mance, which enhances our mod­els and sim­u­la­tions, but also took advan­tage of hav­ing an oper­a­tional EKV on the boost­er to gath­er data on the entire GMD sys­tem,” said Norm Tew, Boe­ing vice pres­i­dent and GMD pro­gram direc­tor. “By draw­ing on our unmatched exper­tise on the sys­tem and work­ing with our gov­ern­ment, mil­i­tary and indus­try part­ners, we have demon­strat­ed a flex­i­ble capa­bil­i­ty for an already proven defense sys­tem.”

Boe­ing has been the prime con­trac­tor for GMD since 2001. Lead­ing the design and devel­op­ment of the sys­tem, Boe­ing deliv­ered an oper­a­tional capa­bil­i­ty in just two and a half years. The com­pa­ny also con­tin­ues to lead GMD’s oper­a­tions and sus­tain­ment efforts.

GMD is an inte­gral ele­ment of the Mis­sile Defense Agency’s over­all lay­ered bal­lis­tic mis­sile defense archi­tec­ture. It defends the Unit­ed States against long-range bal­lis­tic mis­siles, with inter­cep­tors deployed in under­ground silos at Van­den­berg and at Fort Greely. GMD also con­sists of radars, oth­er sen­sors, com­mand-and-con­trol facil­i­ties, com­mu­ni­ca­tions ter­mi­nals and a 20,000-mile fiber optic com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work.

Boeing’s indus­try part­ners on the GMD team include Raytheon Co., Orbital Sci­ences Corp. and Northrop Grum­man Corp.

A unit of The Boe­ing Com­pa­ny, Boe­ing Defense, Space & Secu­ri­ty is one of the world’s largest defense, space and secu­ri­ty busi­ness­es spe­cial­iz­ing in inno­v­a­tive and capa­bil­i­ties-dri­ven cus­tomer solu­tions, and the world’s largest and most ver­sa­tile man­u­fac­tur­er of mil­i­tary air­craft. Head­quar­tered in St. Louis, Boe­ing Defense, Space & Secu­ri­ty is a $34 bil­lion busi­ness with 68,000 employ­ees world­wide.

Text- / Bildquelle (source): Boe­ing Strate­gic Mis­sile & Defense Sys­tems
Ansprech­part­ner / con­tact:
Jes­si­ca Carl­ton
Boe­ing Strate­gic Mis­sile & Defense Sys­tems

Jim Schlueter
Boe­ing Strate­gic Mis­sile & Defense Sys­tems

Rick Lehn­er
U.S. Mis­sile Defense Agency