Lockheed Martin-Built Rocket Supports Successful Missile Defense Test
SUNNYVALE, CA, March 15th, 2002 -- The Missile Defense Agency today successfully completed an Integrated Flight Test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), under subcontract to GMD prime contractor Boeing (NYSE: BA), provided the Payload Launch Vehicle that launched the kill vehicle in support of an intercept that completely destroyed the incoming target. The test, referred to as Integrated Flight Test -8 (IFT-8), was the sixth system-level test of the program involving an intercept attempt. The intercept occurred over the Pacific Ocean at approximately 6:44 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. The flight test sequence began with a target vehicle launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Approximately 20 minutes later, a Payload Launch Vehicle (PLV) lifted off from the Reagan Test Site, Republic of the Marshall Islands, carrying an Exo-Atmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) that acquired, tracked and discriminated between the targets and then destroyed the primary target.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is responsible for the PLV. The PLV is based on a refurbished, two-stage Minuteman II ICBM with a new front section. The PLV is serving as the surrogate Ground-Based Interceptor during the ongoing GMD flight-test program. The company provides an Upper Stage Assembly that serves as the interface between the EKV and the Minuteman booster, as well as all the PLV avionics. The company is also responsible for payload and mission integration, and launch services. During the flight test, the PLV is responsible for delivering the EKV payload to a point in space at a designated time.
The PLV traces its heritage through the successful Homing Overlay Experiment (HOE) and Exo-Atmospheric Reentry Interceptor Subsystem (ERIS) programs. The PLV has been used on all eight of the GMD Integrated Flight Tests, and is currently planned for use through Integrated Flight Test-13.
GMD has been in advanced development since 1998 and is based on technologies pioneered by MDA in the 1980's and 1990's. It is currently a research and development program incorporating extensive ground and flight tests to demonstrate system performance against long-range ballistic missile targets. There have been four successful intercepts in six flight tests since 1999, with approximately 18 more scheduled to take place over the next several years of the developmental test program. Over the next several years, extensive testing efforts are scheduled to take place under operationally realistic conditions with the establishment of a new testbed in the central and northern Pacific Ocean areas, with a new testbed complex planned for Ft. Greely, Alaska beginning in 2004. Boeing is overall prime contractor and systems integrator for GMD, supported by Raytheon (kill vehicle, radars); TRW (BMC2); and Lockheed Martin Space Systems (Ground Based Interceptor and flight test support).
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, headquartered in Denver, Colo., is one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a variety of advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include a full-range of space launch systems, including heavy-lift capability, ground systems, remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.