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Missile Defense Agency Selects OSC For Target Launch Vehicle Contract

An OSC target vehicle
Dulles - Nov 10, 2003
Orbital Sciences Corporation said Friday that it has been awarded a $19 million contract by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) Targets and Countermeasures office in Huntsville, AL for the Medium Range Target (MRT) launch vehicle program.

Under the contract, Orbital will be responsible for the design, development, production and test of the MRT vehicle that will be launched as a Risk Reduction Flight (RRF) currently scheduled to take place in 2005. The RRF is in support of both the Theater High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) and Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) programs.

Orbital will develop, build and test an MRT vehicle capable of carrying out multiple launch modes, including air-launch, sea-launch, and ground-launch operations. The RRF to be conducted under this contract will demonstrate the air-launch capability.

Orbital's extensive experience in integrating and launching missile defense target vehicles includes past missions supporting the testing of the THAAD and Patriot/PAC-3 systems. The company is also the current supplier of ground-launched Target Test Vehicles (TTVs), the primary targets for the Aegis BMD tests that take place from the Pacific Missile Range.

"With the MRT contract award, we are continuing to experience strong demand for our launch vehicle systems that are used in missile defense interceptor and countermeasure tests," said Mr. Ron Grabe, Orbital's Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Launch Systems Group.

"In addition to the MRT contract, we were recently selected to supply launch vehicles in support of the MDA's Critical Measurements and Countermeasures Program. Under these two contracts, we will continue to utilize an integrated product line approach to delivering on-schedule and reliable targets using standardized vehicle systems. We look forward to building on our extensive record of successful missile defense-related target vehicles, which includes 44 launches for MDA in the last 10 years," Mr. Grabe added.

Orbital's launch systems, including space launch vehicles, missile defense interceptors and target and other suborbital rockets, are primarily produced at the company's engineering and manufacturing facility in Chandler, Arizona, and its vehicle assembly and integration facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

The company's Pegasus, Taurus, Minotaur and Peacekeeper space launch vehicles are used by government and commercial customers to deliver small- and medium-class satellites into low-altitude orbits above the Earth. The U.S. Department of Defense employs the company's suborbital rockets in missile defense systems primarily as threat-simulating target vehicles and interceptor boosters for U.S. national defense systems.

For more information about Orbital missile defense and space launch vehicle systems, visit the company's web site at:

In addition to its launch vehicle systems, Orbital's other primary products are satellites and related space systems, which are also used by commercial, civil government and military customers.

Related Links
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Boeing Awarded Contract for GMD Block 2004 Capability Enhancement
St. Louis - Nov 04, 2003
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has awarded Boeing an $823,040,235 cost-plus-award-fee contract modification for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Block 2004 Capability Enhancement Program.



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