Boeing [NYSE:BA] announced today the successful launch of a missile defense interceptor boost vehicle from the Ronald Reagan Missile Site, at Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, at 9:23 p.m. EST.
During the test, which is part of the Ground Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program and called Integrated Flight Test-13B, a developmental, three-stage booster vehicle traveled from the launch site to a simulated intercept point about 800 miles away over the Pacific Ocean.
"The successful completion of IFT-13B moves the Boeing-led GMD team one step closer to delivering the nation's first defense against the ballistic missile threat," said Boeing Senior Vice President and General Manager of Missile Defense Systems James Evatt. "It's making the government's commitment to protect the U.S. homeland, forces overseas and friends and allies a reality."
The test validated the ability of the GMD system to track, acquire and destroy enemy ballistic missiles in the midcourse of flight. Test objectives included the demonstration of system component integration, engagement operations, sensor tasking and operations and other capabilities to verify vehicle design and performance.
The test also demonstrated the integration of the GMD Fire Control/Communications system at the Meck Island Launch Site; simulated Ground Based Radar Prototype at Kwajalein; Battle Management Command, Control and Communications functions, and In-Flight Interceptor Communications. The test did not involve an intercept.
As the prime contractor for the GMD program, Boeing is responsible for the development and integration of the GMD system components, including the ground-based interceptor; ground-based radar prototype; Battle Management, Command, Control and Communication systems; early warning radars; and interfaces to the Defense Support Program early warning satellite system.
The intercept boost vehicle was designed and built by Orbital Sciences Corp. Other GMD team members include Raytheon, Northrop-Grumman, and Lockheed Martin. The mission was monitored by the Boeing GMD team.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $25 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.