ORBITAL SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES TARGET VEHICLE FOR U.S. GROUND-BASED MIDCOURSE MISSILE DEFENSE TEST
(Dulles, VA 15 March 2002) - Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) successfully launched a target rocket in support of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's (MDA's) Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system's flight test program, the company announced. Earlier this evening, the company's Orbital/Suborbital Target Launch Vehicle (OSP TLV) was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, at approximately 9:11 p.m. (EST), which initiated the flight sequence for MDA's Integrated Flight Test-8 (IFT-8). The OSP TLV, which deployed a mock reentry vehicle and three decoys, was successfully intercepted over the Pacific Ocean by an exoatmospheric kill vehicle that was carried aboard a booster vehicle launched from the Ronald Reagan Missile Site in the Marshall Islands.
Tonight's test was the third successful launch of a missile defense target vehicle that Orbital has carried out in less than four months. In December 2001, Orbital launched an OSP TLV in support of MDA's IFT-7 test and, in February 2002, the company launched a Target Test Vehicle (TTV) in support of MDA's Sea-based Midcourse Defense (SMD) program.
"We are once again very proud to support MDA's Integrated Flight Test program with our OSP target vehicle and we congratulate the entire team on the success of the test," said Mr. Ronald J. Grabe, Orbital's Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Launch Systems Group. "The last several months have been exceptionally busy and productive for Orbital in the missile defense segment of our business and we expect that pace to continue throughout 2002 and beyond. In addition to the company's recent operational successes, we currently plan to conduct another six or seven launches of various missile defense target and related technology vehicles this year. We are also aggressively moving forward on the four-year, $400 million GMD boost vehicle development contract recently awarded to us by The Boeing Company," he added.
Orbital is one of the country's leading suppliers of launch vehicles for missile defense applications. The company's target vehicles are used to support numerous Department of Defense programs, including MDA's GMD and SMD programs and the U.S. Army's THAAD, PAC-3, TCMP and SRALT programs. Orbital is also developing a new liquid fuel propulsion system that may be used in the U.S. Air Force's Airborne Laser program.
In addition to target vehicles, Orbital is now in the process of designing, manufacturing and testing new interceptor boosters for the GMD system. Over the next four years, Orbital expects to supply approximately 16 to 18 GMD interceptor boosters to Boeing; and the company could produce an additional 50 or more boosters through the end of the decade if an optional production contract is exercised.
Orbital is one of the world's leading developers and manufacturers of affordable space systems for commercial, civil government and military customers. The company's primary products include low-orbit, geostationary and planetary spacecraft for communications, scientific and remote sensing missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense boosters that are used as target and interceptor vehicles. Orbital also offers space-related technical services to government agencies and develops and builds satellite-based transportation management systems for public transit agencies and private vehicle fleet operators.
Contact: Barron Beneski, 7034065000, email@example.com
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