Raytheon Missile Defense Systems Key to Successful Ballistic Missile Intercept in Space
TUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 1, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- 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.
Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2005 sales of $21.9 billion, is an industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 80,000 people worldwide.
Contacts: For EKV: For UEWR: Alan Fischer Joyce Melikian 520.794.1211 339.645.6967 Notes to Editors:
(1) Raytheon's hit-to-kill successes with the GMD program occurred on Oct. 2, 1999; July 13 and Dec. 3, 2001; and March 15 and Oct. 14, 2002; and with the sea-based Standard Missile-3, part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Program, on Jan. 25, June 13 and Nov. 21, 2002, Dec. 11, 2003, Feb. 24 and Nov. 17, 2005, and June 22, 2006.
(2) The EKV has its own infrared seeker, propulsion, communications, discrimination algorithms, guidance and control system, and computers to support target selection and intercept decisions in the end game of the intercept mission. The EKV is the intercept component of the Ground Based Interceptor (GBI), the weapon element of the GMD system. As part of the payload, Raytheon also builds and delivers the booster adaptor, which provides a common EKV interface for both the Orbital and Lockheed boosters. The adaptor provides EKV with power, communication and environmental protection prior to eject. Raytheon is producing payload assemblies in its world-class Kinetic Kill Vehicle manufacturing facility in Tucson, Ariz.
SOURCE: Raytheon Company
CONTACT: Alan Fischer for EKV, +1-520-794-1211; or Joyce Melikian for
Web site: http://www.raytheon.com/