Major Milestone at US Homeland Missile Defence System
March 27, 2019
The U.S. Missile Defence Agency, announced that it had conducted a successful test against an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) class target. This test was the first salvo engagement of a threat-representative ICBM target by two Ground Based Interceptors (GBI), which were designated GBI-Lead, and GBI-Trail for the test. The GBI-Lead destroyed the re-entry vehicle, as it was designed to do. The GBI-Trail then looked at the resulting debris and remaining objects, and, not finding any other re-entry vehicles, selected the next ‘most lethal object’ it could identify, and struck that, precisely as it was designed to do. The threat-representative ICBM target was launched from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, over 4,000 miles away from the two GBI interceptors, which were launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. During the test, space, ground and sea-based BMDS sensors provided real-time target acquisition and tracking data to the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communication (C2BMC) system. The two GBIs were then launched and the Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicles successfully engaged the target complex, resulting in an intercept of the target. Initial indications show the test met requirements. Program officials will continue to evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test. From Boeing’s press statements, it is understood that two Ground-based Midcourse (GMD ) Defence system interceptors to destroy a threat-representative target, are Boeing’s products. On other hand Raytheon Company stated that two Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicles (EKV), which destroyed a threat representative intercontinental ballistic missile belong to them. Further notice by Northrop Grumman indicated that Ground System were provided by that company and the system provides direction for the First Dual Interceptor Test. Northrop Grumman was the strategic partner to prime contractor, Boeing. During the GMD flight test, known as FTG-11, a Northrop Grumman-produced ICBM target threat was fired from a launch complex at Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defence Test Site in the Marshall Islands.