Raytheon Missile Defense Systems Key in Successful Ballistic Missile Intercept in Space
TUCSON, Ariz., and TEWKSBURY, Mass., Sept. 28, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) components built under contract to The Boeing Company, the prime contractor for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, played key roles in the destruction of a ballistic missile target during GMD's latest successful flight test conducted Sept. 28 by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.
The Raytheon-built Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) intercepted the ballistic missile target in space over the eastern Pacific Ocean. The Raytheon-developed Upgraded Early Warning Radar (UEWR) at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., successfully tracked the target system for approximately 15 minutes during its flight downrange to the intercept point several hundred miles west of California. The Raytheon-developed X-Band Radar (XBR), the primary payload of the Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX), actively participated in this test by tracking, discriminating and assessing the target.
While in flight, the EKV received target updates from the In-Flight Interceptor Communication System and performed a star shot to calibrate its own position. The EKV observed the target complex with its advanced multi- color infrared seeker and successfully selected the target from other objects in space. During the end game, as the target grew in the seeker's field of view, the EKV selected the aimpoint and maneuvered for a direct, lethal hit.
As the primary ground-based sensor for this mission, the UEWR successfully acquired, tracked and classified the target system, providing critical targeting data to the system under test. The UEWR achieved all mission objectives as it continues its flawless support to GMD flight tests and path to Air Force operational acceptance.
Positioned in the eastern Pacific Ocean, the XBR initiated track on the target complex and collected valuable data, which will be used to hone algorithms for future flight tests. The radar achieved all mission objectives. This test marks the third successful mission that the Sea-Based XBR has participated in since last September.
"This highly successful test of the GMD system once again demonstrates Raytheon's systems performance and reliability," said Louise Francesconi, Raytheon Missile Systems president. "The test clearly demonstrates the maturity of our technology and our ability to provide this critical capability to the nation."
"The XBR and UEWR demonstrated exceptional performance in this critical test of U.S. missile defense capability," said Pete Franklin, vice president, National & Theater Security Programs for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS). "This latest exercise confirms the radars' ability to gather information necessary to support an intercept."
The test marked the second time an operationally configured ground-based interceptor was launched from an operational GMD site at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The target was launched from Kodiak, Alaska.
Designated Flight Test Ground-based Midcourse Defense-03a (FTG-03a), the test included a planned intercept of the target as one of its objectives. Other objectives included the EKV's ability to successfully detect, track, discriminate a target in space and communicate with ground-based sensors, and included participation of the SBX in the test.
This test again demonstrated the system's capability to launch a ground- based interceptor and perform EKV separation and delivery of the EKV to the desired point in space and time.
Raytheon is a major subcontractor to The Boeing Company, the prime contractor for the GMD program, providing the EKV, UEWRs and the XBR.
Continuing the Raytheon heritage with UHF phased array radars, the Beale UEWR program upgrades existing PAVE PAWS and Ballistic Missile Early Warning System radars by adding missile defense capabilities while retaining missile warning and space surveillance missions. As key sensors for the Missile Defense Agency's Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), UEWR and SBX provide midcourse target detection, tracking, and assessment for the GMD portion of the BMDS to protect the U.S. from ballistic missile attacks.
Raytheon Integrated Defense System is upgrading UEWRs at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., and Fylingdales, U.K., under a subcontract to Boeing. Raytheon IDS is also upgrading the UEWR at Thule Air Base, Greenland, under a separate Missile Defense Agency contract awarded in April 2006.
Raytheon Company, with 2006 sales of $20.3 billion, is a technology leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning more than 85 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people worldwide.
Note to Editors:
Raytheon's earlier hit-to-kill successes with the GMD program occurred Oct. 2, 1999; July 13 and Dec. 3, 2001; March 15 and Oct. 14, 2002; and Sept 1, 2006.
The EKV has its own infrared seeker, propulsion, communications, discrimination algorithms, guidance and control system, and computers to support target selection and intercept decisions in the end game of the intercept mission. The EKV is the intercept component of the Ground Based Interceptor (GBI), the weapon element of the GMD system. As part of the payload, Raytheon also builds and delivers the booster adaptor, which provides the EKV interface for the Orbital booster. The adaptor provides EKV with power, communication and environmental protection prior to eject. Raytheon is producing payload assemblies in its world-class Kinetic Kill Vehicle manufacturing facility in Tucson, Ariz.
Contacts: For EKV For UEWR/SBX: John Patterson Joyce Melikian 520.794.4559 339.645.6967
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