29 January 2016
The test, which did not involve striking a target, proved the effectiveness of a recent redesign of EKV thrusters, which provide the control necessary for lethal impact with incoming ballistic missile threats while outside of the Earth's atmosphere.
"This was a remarkable data-collection opportunity," Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems, said in a statement. "These are among our industry's most complex systems. Testing is critically important to ensuring the advancement of reliable kill vehicles for the protection of the U.S. homeland."
The weapon features a multi-color sensor to detect incoming warheads in space; its own propulsion and communications link, discrimination algorithms, guidance and control system and computers to support target selection and target interception.
The EKV is the intercept component of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system.
Raytheon is currently
managing four hit-to-kill
missile programs: the EKV,
kinetic vehicle, the
Redesigned Kill Vehicle,
and Multi-Object Kill