14 August 2015
HUNTSVILLE, Ala., 14 Aug. 2015. The Boeing Co. is joining rivals Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Co. in an effort to develop a ballistic missile defense multi-warhead killer weapon that would be able to detect, track, and kill several different incoming enemy missile warheads and decoys with only one counter-missile launch.
Officials of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in Huntsville, Ala., announced a $9.8 million contract Thursday to the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in Huntsville, Ala., to start designing the Multi-Object Kill Vehicle (MOKV).
Boeing joins the Lockheed Martin Corp. Space Systems Co. in Sunnyvale, Calif., and to the Raytheon Co. Missile Systems segment in Tucson, Ariz., in the MOKV development effort. Raytheon $9.8 million contract and Lockheed Martin's $9.7 million to begin MOKV development were announced Tuesday.
The MOKV could engage several incoming objects simultaneously with kill vehicles that communicate with one another. The three companies will define concepts that can destroy several incoming warheads and decoys by considering advanced sensor, divert and attitude control, and communication concepts.
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon will define proof-of-concept prototypes, demonstrate risk mitigation steps for all critical components, assess the technical maturity of their concepts, and rank enabling technologies to minimize design risks.
The MDA’s ground-based interceptor missile today carries one kill warhead that detects, tracks, and attacks an incoming enemy ballistic missile warhead and attempts to destroy it kinetically by force of impact.
The MOKV, instead, would launch on one air-defense missile, and deploy several kill vehicles that could engage several incoming enemy warheads. MOKV warheads will be designed to communicate with one another to coordinate their attacks.
The MOKV would function similarly to the MDA's Multiple Kill Vehicle (MKV) program, which was cancelled in 2009. The MOKV is likely to launch on rockets like the U.S. Navy Raytheon SM-3 standard shipboard missile.
On Thursday's contract Boeing will do the work in Huntsville, Ala.;
Huntington Beach, Calif.; and Albuquerque, N.M. The three companies should be
finished with this phase of MOKV development by May 2016. MDA officials
ultimately are expected to narrow the field to one contractor for advanced
development and manufacturing for the MOKV program.