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MKV / MOKV Program Developments

The Army Space and Missile Defense Technical Center (SMDTC) miniature interceptor program of the late 1990s evolved into the Multiple Kill Vehicles program, which is one of the Missile Defense Agency's major technology programs. Hit-to-Kill (HTK) Miniature Interceptor was a multiple-kill vehicle concept intended to counter the threat from advanced submunitions (AS). It is based on advanced component technologies under development with BMDO funding, which are integrated into extremely small kill vehicles, thereby allowing many to be carried aboard a single interceptor. The HTK miniature interceptor concept would be designed to be compatible with the baseline TMD concept of operation using the same radar, booster, launcher, and BM/C3. However, the conventional kill-payload would be replaced with a cluster of HTK miniature interceptors. A small fraction of the conventional interceptors in each fire unit would be replaced with interceptors filled with HTK miniature interceptor kill vehicles. The threat would be detected and tracked as in the conventional TMD scenarios. The TMD radar would determine the composition of the threat payload and, when needed, an interceptor with a cluster of HTK miniature interceptor projectiles would engage the submunitions in an exoatmospheric environment.

Preliminary MKV development contracts were awarded through a full and open competition in February 2002 to teams headed by Science Applications I nternational Corporation (SAIC), Schafer Corporation, and Lockheed Martin Corporation.

The U. S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC) announced [DASG60-03-R-0016] on July 07, 2003 that it planned to solicit proposals for a competitively awarded follow-on contract to continue development and testing of Miniature Kill Vehicle (MKV) technology. This technology is needed for future appli cation within the critically important Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). The government proposes to conduct this acquisition as a limited competition pursuant to the authority of FAR 6.302-1(a)(2)(ii) & (iii). The proposed competition will be limited to the three contractor teams who are currently performing preliminary MKV concept development contracts. The government believed that award to any other source than one of the three contractor teams currently performing the preliminary MKV development contracts would likely result in substantial duplication of prior costs and lengthy delays in the development, testing and ultimate deployment of this critically important ballistic missile defense technology. An Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract will be awarded to provide for the design, development, fabrication, and testing of prototype MKV systems. In order to facilitate the earliest possible insertion of this technology into the Ballistic Missile Defense System, manufacturability, maintainability, producibility, affordability, and supportability considerations will be fully incorporated into designs generated under this effort.

The contractor selected was expected to deliver kill vehicles for hover testing before the end of 3rd quarter FY-05 that are of the same design and configuration as future flight test articles. Redesign of the MKV after hover testing is not anticipated. This procurement encompasses efforts required to define, design, develop, fabricate, integrate, test, and document kill vehicle and carrier vehicle components and to conduct integrated MKV system flight testing in the Pacific Test Bed. Development activities will address components, subsystems, a fully integrate d MKV system, ground support equipment, interfaces with mission and launch control equipment, and interfaces with range support equipment as well as BMDS components. The system level objectives are to demonstrate intercepts of multiple midcourse targets f rom one boost vehicle and successful integration with the BMDS. Although the government intends to conduct a limited competition for this requirement as described herein, any contractors who believe they possess capabilities to perform the MKV system development may express their interest by submitting information that details their capability to perform this requirement.

On 07 January 2004 Lockheed Martin announced it has won a contract from the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to further develop and demonstrate the first system capable of destroying multiple ballistic missile threats and decoys with a single launch. The eight-year contract is valued at approximately $760 million; the initial 11-month contract is valued at $27 million. The U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command in Huntsville, Ala., manages the program for the MDA. The selection of Lockheed Martin follows a 19-month concept development phase in which the company defined its MKV design, including the carrier vehicle and the kill vehicle subsystem; as well as the program plan, schedule and cost estimates for development and production.

As of 2004 a critical design review was scheduled for late 2004, hover tests in 2005/2006, flight tests begin in 2007, and intercepts versus multiple targets occur in the system flight testing in 2009. As of 2007 the MDA expected initial capabilities to be available by Block 2014 or 2016.

L-3 Communications announced 30 June 2004 that its Coleman Aerospace business unit (L-3 Coleman Aerospace) has been awarded a contract from Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, California, to provide systems engineering and flight test support under the Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) Multiple Kill Vehicle (MKV) System Development program.

Contract Performance Reports were suspended in February 2006 as the program transitioned from an advanced technology development program to a system development program. This transition prompted MKV to establish a new baseline for the program. The MKV prime contract is an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity cost-reimbursement arrangement. This type of contract allows the government to direct work through a series of task orders. Such a contract does not procure or specify a firm quantity of services (other than a minimum or maximum quantity). This contracting approach permits MDA to order services as they are needed after requirements materialize and provides the government with flexibility because the tasks can be aligned commensurate with available funding. Since the MKV element is relatively new to the BMDS, its funding is less predictable than other elements' and the ability to decrease or increase funding on the contract each year is important to effectively manage the program.

The MKV program accomplished all of its planned activities as scheduled during fiscal year 2006, which included several successful propulsion tests. In November 2005, the program tested a preliminary design of MKV's liquid propellant divert and attitude control system-the steering mechanism for the carrier and kill vehicles. This test was a precursor to a successful July 2006 test of the liquid divert and attitude control system's divert thruster, which was conducted under more realistic conditions. The program also executed a solid propellant divert and attitude control system test in December 2005. Results of the December test, combined with a technology assessment, led program officials to pursue a low-risk, high-performance liquid fueled divert and attitude control system. The MKV program will continue to explore other divert and attitude control system technologies for future use.

On 20 March 2006 Lockheed Martin announced that it had completed the first kill vehicle pathfinder seeker for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's Multiple Kill Vehicle System. Lockheed Martin was testing the pathfinder seeker in its hardware-in-the-loop facility, creating a vibration environment similar to the one the kill vehicle will experience while performing its mission. Under sophisticated optical and electrical testing, the pathfinder seeker and associated kill vehicle electronics have been demonstrating full functionality.

BAE Systems will develop and test a key component of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's Multiple Kill Vehicle payload system. The company will produce, test, and integrate the system's carrier vehicle seeker for the captive carry testbed under a two-year, $6.3 million contract awarded in July 2007 from Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co.

A 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. This test was a major hurdle before the summer 2008 "hover" flight test of the Multiple Kill Vehicle at Edwards Air Force Base.

MDA decided during the development of the 2008 budget request to begin parallel work with Raytheon Missile Systems of Tucson, AZ. Raytheon's concept, which it calls the Multiple Engagement Payload, does not use a carrier vehicle, but rather would deploy the kill vehicles directly from the interceptor rocket. Each kill vehicle is able to communicate directly with the others. Raytheon could be ready for a flight test in 2013.

Lockheed Martin began work in Sunnyvale, California, to define the concept for a Multi-Object Kill Vehicle missile defense system for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. “We will devise and explore the most effective solutions for destroying more than one warhead with a single interceptor, an important step in changing the cost curve for missile defense engagement,” said Doug Graham, vice president of missile systems and advanced programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems. “Our talented engineers will use out-of-the-box Silicon Valley thinking to create an ultra-high-performance system that will operate outside of the atmosphere while traveling thousands of miles per hour.” Engineering experts at the company’s Huntsville, Alabama, facility also will contribute to the Multi-Object Kill Vehicle concept.

Under the $9.7 million contract, Lockheed Martin would develop a system concept for use on the interceptors used by the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the nation’s ballistic missile defense system. The company will consider advanced sensor, communication and divert-and-attitude control technologies and approaches, and will identify methods for reducing technical risks. This approach not only will expand the defense of the United States against potential missile attacks, but also will require fewer interceptors to do so.

Lockheed Martin has developed systems, such as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and Patriot Advanced Capability-3, that have achieved more than 100 successful intercepts in combat and flight testing since 1984 – more than any other company.

On 20 November 2015 Raytheon Company completed the first Program Planning Review with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency on the future Multi-Object Kill Vehicle (MOKV) concept, a key step toward defining critical aspects of its design.

The milestone is a critical part of the Concept Development Phase. It's designed to ensure Raytheon was aligned with the MDA's expectations and on track for a Concept Review in December 2015.

"Emerging threats demand a new engagement paradigm – one the Raytheon team is able to fully support with our depth of experience and breadth of capability," said Dr. Thomas Bussing, vice president of Advanced Missile Systems. "We're leveraging decades of experience across four kill vehicle programs and vast tactical weapon expertise across every domain and mission area to meet this critical need."

As part of the $9,775,608 contract awarded in August 2015, Raytheon would define an operational MOKV concept. The MOKV will destroy several objects by utilizing advanced sensor, divert and attitude control and communication technologies.

Design work on Raytheon's MOKV concept is occurring in the Advanced Missile System's product line, an industry-leading technology and innovation hub. Current Raytheon-built kill vehicles are built in the world-class, one-of-a-kind Space Factory, which has been called a national asset. Between the Standard Missile-3 and Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle programs, Raytheon has achieved more than 30 intercepts in space - far more than any other company.

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Page last modified: 21-11-2015 18:51:11 ZULU