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GBI Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV)

On 22 August 2019, the Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV) that was selected and scheduled to be on each tip of the next 20 new Ground-Based Interceptors (GBIs) for the enhanced defense of the United States Homeland from North Korea and Iran, was terminated by Dr. Michael Griffin, the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. The RKV acquisition strategy was documented in the RKV Acquisition Plan signed by the Defense Acquisition Executive in October 2015.

"First, we will prioritize the defense of the American people above all else. Our review calls for 20 new ground based interceptors at Fort Greely, Alaska and new radars and sensors to immediately detect foreign missiles launched against our great nation. We are committed to establishing a missile defense program that can shield every city in the United States." - President Donald Trump speaking at the release of the 2019 Missile Defense Review (MDR) at the Pentagon on January 17, 2019. The MDR in January stated that by the beginning of 2023 the additional 20 GBIs would be deploying. The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget request released in March stated, "MDA anticipates emplacing 20 additional GBIs tipped with the RKV beginning in the FY 2025 timeframe."

"Ending the program was the responsible thing to do... Development programs sometimes encounter problems. After exercising due diligence, we decided the path we're going down wouldn't be fruitful, so we're not going down that path anymore. This decision supports our efforts to gain full value from every future taxpayer dollar spent on defense." - Dr. Michael Griffin, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.

This decision will delay the deployment of any additional GBIs for the defense of the United States homeland to the 2030 timeframe at the earliest under the current acquisition requirements to compete for a required new and modernized GBI solution, to adequately test the solution, and to prove and certify the solution in operational and realistic conditions with operators of the system. The decision by Dr. Griffin also delays the modernization of the current 44 GBIs, currently made up of three generations of technical capability with the earliest from the 1990s and the last generation with the highest reliability just proven in the salvo launch of FTG-11 on March 25, 2019, which puts the United States homeland more at risk until a new GBI solution is deployed.

The Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) provides combatant commanders with a continuously available (24 hours a day, 365 days a year) capability to defend the Homeland against limited Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) attacks. The improved Homeland Defense interceptor includes a Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV), an improved booster (C3), and All Up Round (AUR) engineering necessary to integrate the RKV with new and existing booster configurations. The RKV improves interceptor reliability, reduces unit cost, improves maintainability in the field, and improves performance against emerging threats.

The Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV) was a key component of the BMOS RHO architecture, capitalizing on Discrimination Improvements for Homeland Defense (OlHO), deployment of the LRDR, and upgrades to GMO ground systems. The RKV would replace the current EKV with a modular, producible. reliable, and capable kill vehicle that leverages mature technologies to meet BMOS requirements. The RKV increases operational effectiveness (reliability and maintainability) in an affordable way (producibility, maintainability, and testability) compared to the current GBI kill vehicle.

The Configuration 3 integrated boost vehicle will incorporate enhanced lightning protection, power transient protection, and survivability enhancements. The AUR development approach integrates the RKV with three different 3-stage boost vehicle configurations: C1, C2, and C3. The goal of all of these efforts is to develop and field an integrated set of capabilities to improve the reliability, survivability, lethality, and discrimination to defeat future threats.

The FY2017-26 PA of $8.000M was required to address emergency warfighting readiness requirements to ensure readiness of the BMDS. The Improved HD Interceptors: required to accelerate Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV) efforts to support 20 additional GBIs in a new missile field (Missile Field #4) to defeat developing threats in terms of number of threat missiles and complexity of threat payloads. This was a base budget requirement. The RKV development program included three flight-test articles (one for GM CTV-03, one for Flight Test GBI (FTG)-17), and one for FTG-18) plus eight initial production RKVs.

MDA would expend one of the initial production RKVs in a BMDS/GMD-Jevel flight test event, Flight Test Operational (FT0)-04, in FY 2021. MDA would use an additional RKV as a production/flight test spare or as an inventory maintenance unit if not needed during production or flight test. MDA will deploy the remaining six units to the operational fleet.

In January of 2018 the MDA Director signed an Acquisition Strategy Decision Memorandum (ASDM) changing the acquisition strategy to execute the Missile Defeat and Defense Enhancement scope. The Development and Sustainment Contract (DSC) will continue with the Boeing Company to Q1 FY2024 to build the 20 GBI's and 20 Silo's with supporting test, engineering, software, and performance based logistics scope. This additional capability will provide 64 interceptors by the end of calendar year 2023 as well as maintain operation and support capabilities and support upcoming ground and flight tests. The Justification and Approval for this action was signed by the MDA Director on 2 January 2018.

MDA utilized the GMD Development and Sustainment Contract (DSC) for the RKV development program. MDA competitively awarded this contract to Boeing in December 2011, with Raytheon Missile Systems as a primary subcontractor and Lockheed Martin brought on as a subcontractor for the development effort. The scope of work under this contract includes, but is not limited to, future development, fielding, testing, systems engineering, integration and configuration management, equipment manufacturing and refurbishment, training, and operations and sustainment support for the GMD Weapon System and associated support facilities. After completion of the development phase and delivery of the initial production units, MDA plans to competitively award a full rate production contract for additional RKVs. The OBI AUR integration for full rate production RKVs will occur in this RKV competitive production contract.

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Page last modified: 21-08-2019 18:20:57 ZULU