Lockheed Martin Retiree Recognized for Pioneering Missile Defense Work
DALLAS, TX, 10-APR-06 --
Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] retiree Edward D. Walters received the Missile Defense Agency Pioneer Award for his lifetime contribution to missile defense technology at the 4th Annual Missile Defense Conference in Washington, DC, March 24.
Walters was honored for exhibiting significant management and engineering skills that ultimately enabled the United States to demonstrate hit-to-kill intercepts of Tactical Ballistic Missiles (TBMs) within the atmosphere. Walters was responsible for the development of hit-to-kill technologies that ultimately resulted in the fielding of the battle-proven Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile.
“Ed Walters’ contribution to the development of hit-to-kill technology cannot be diminished,” said Mike Trotsky, vice president – Air & Missile Defense for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “Under Ed’s leadership, hit-to-kill technology progressed from an idea to reality, and now offers Soldiers the best protection against air threats in the world today.”
Walters and his team began developing an agile interceptor for the U.S. Army’s Advanced Ballistic Missile Defense Agency in Huntsville, AL, in the early 1980s. The Army Strategic Defense Command restructured the agile interceptor demonstration plan to include a Small Radar Homing Interceptor (SRHIT) that could conduct hit-to-kill, kinetic energy intercepts within the atmosphere.
With a contract in hand to conduct hit-to-kill demonstrations, Walters and his team developed flight hardware utilizing a Ka-band seeker and off-the-shelf propulsion hardware. Walters, as the SRHIT deputy program manager and chief engineer, developed the plan and managed the effort that was ultimately successful in completing three hit-to-kill intercepts. The program was subsequently renamed the Flexible Lightweight Agile Guided Experiment (FLAGE).
After completing the third successful intercept against a Lance TBM target, the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization advanced the endo-atmospheric hit-to-kill interceptor focus on intercepting TBM targets at much higher altitudes, but still within the atmosphere. Now called the Extended Range Interceptor Technology (ERINT) program, the team led by Walters continued to mature hit-to-kill technology and work towards a fielded kinetic energy air defense capability.
In February 1994, following an intense competition, the U.S. Army selected the ERINT prototype missile as the interceptor of choice to improve the missile defense capability of the Patriot Air Defense System. In October 1994, Walters led his team to begin designing, developing and producing the next generation interceptor to meet the PAC-3 operational requirement.
In September 1997, Walters and his team successfully completed the first developmental flight test of the PAC-3 Missile, and Walters retired shortly after the test, completing some 40 years of experience with kinetic energy missile design and operation.
“Ed is a giant in the history of hit-to-kill,” Trotsky added. “He was the consummate professional, and his ingenuity and passion for invention were paramount in the development of the PAC-3 Missile. It’s a pleasure to continue the legacy of success Ed and his team started so many years ago.”