First Missile Defense Interceptor Vehicle Emplaced In Alaska Silo
Orbital Sciences Corporation announced that it supplied the first interceptor boost vehicle for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA)'s Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system that was installed into an underground silo at Fort Greely, Alaska yesterday, July 22, 2004.
The company also stated that it has delivered several other Orbital Boost Vehicle (OBV) interceptors that are scheduled for emplacement over the next several weeks and is currently producing additional vehicles at its facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), California.
The company is currently on schedule to meet MDA's goal of deploying up to 10 operational interceptors by the end of 2004 and up to 20 operational interceptors by the end of 2005. The current plan calls for 16 OBVs to be deployed at Fort Greely and up to four OBVs to be deployed at VAFB by the end of next year. Orbital will also supply OBV interceptor rockets and several target vehicles to support the robust GMD testing program MDA has planned for the next several years.
"This is a very proud moment for all of Orbital's employees," stated Mr. Ron Grabe, Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Launch Systems Group.
"To have Orbital's expertise in interceptor vehicle technology play such a key role in helping defend the United States from the threat of ballistic missile attack is a true honor. We place the utmost importance on our role in the GMD program and regard it as our highest calling."
Over the next several weeks, the three-stage OBV, which will carry an exoatmospheric "kill vehicle" designed to collide with and destroy a hostile long-range missile in the midcourse phase of its flight, will be integrated with the Defense Department's network of early warning sensors, long-range radars, and command and control, battle management and communications systems.
When operational, the GMD system will be operated by the U.S. Northern Command and will be an integral part of the planned multi-layer ballistic missile defense system designed to detect, intercept and destroy ballistic missiles to protect the U.S. homeland, deployed U.S. troops and nations.
Orbital's GMD boost vehicle is a three-stage rocket based on flight-proven hardware that has flown about 50 times on previous missions carried out by the company's Pegasus, Taurus and Minotaur space launch vehicles. Orbital is developing, manufacturing and testing interceptor vehicles under a multi-year contract from The Boeing Company, MDA's lead system integrator for the GMD program.
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Northrop Grumman And EADS To Collaborate On Missile Defense
Washington DC (SPX) Jul 23, 2004
Northrop Grumman and EADS Thursday announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding to begin collaborating on ballistic-missile defense solutions.