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MDA Announces Test of Multiple Kill Vehicle's Carrier Vehicle Divert and Attitude Control System

27 August 2007

Lieutenant General Henry "Trey" Obering III, Missile Defense Agency director, announced testing of a key element of the Agency's Multiple Kill Vehicle payload system.

The test conducted August 17, 2007 by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne at the National Hover Test Facility at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., demonstrated the high performance rocket propulsion component of the payload system's carrier vehicle. During an engagement with the enemy, this divert and attitude control component will maneuver the carrier vehicle, with its bandolier of 8-20 small kill vehicles, onto the path of the in-bound threat complex. With the enemy now in its sights, the carrier vehicle dispenses the kill vehicles guiding them to destroy their designated targets. This test was a major hurdle before next summer's "hover" flight test of the Multiple Kill Vehicle at Edwards Air Force Base.

Designed to be a force multiplier for all of the land and sea-based weapons of the integrated mid-course missile defense system, the Multiple Kill Vehicle is a transformational program adding volume kill capability for the war fighter. In the event of an enemy launch, a single interceptor equipped with this payload, will not only destroy the reentry vehicle, but all credible threat objects including countermeasures the enemy deploys to try and spoof our defenses. This many-on-many strategy eliminates the need for extensive pre-launch intelligence while leveraging the Ballistic Missile Defense System's discrimination capability, ensuring a robust and affordable solution to emerging threats.

The Ballistic Missile Defense System is being developed, tested and deployed as a layered defense for the U.S. homeland, its deployed forces, friends and allies against ballistic missiles of all ranges in all phases of flight.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne in Canoga Park, Calif., is a subcontractor of the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Sunnyvale, Calif., the prime contractor for the Multiple Kill Vehicle payload system. MDA Public Affairs contact: Rick Lehner, (703) 697-8997, richard.lehner@mda.mil

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