Find a Security Clearance Job!

Space


Ground Based Interceptor Testing

According to the MDA, Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) testing resulted in 9 successful intercepts in 17 attempts from 1999 to 2014. The NMD program conducted a series of Integrated Flight Tests [IFT] to progressively demonstrate system capabilities. The target system is built by Sandia National Labs to replicate decoys that might be seen in threat systems.

Consistent with the MDA block management framework, the Ground- based Midcourse Defense (GMD) System Element of the MDS consisted of Blocks 2004, 2006, and 2008. The GMD Block 2004 represented the early development and construction of the initial GMD parts of the BMDS Test Bed also including the initial defensive operational capability as well as the sea-based X-band radar and an upgraded early warning radar at Beale AFB. The GMD Block 2006 included development of capabilities to detect, track, intercept, and defeat ballistic missile threats to the US during the midcourse phase of flight as well as GMD improvements to the BMDS Test Bed. This could include exploring the acquisition of additional sensors such as an X- band radar. The GMD Block 2008 included continued development of GMD capabilities as well as integrated testing of the multi-layered BMDS components.

The Missile Defense Agency conducted a series of Flight Tests / GMD - FTG. MDA budget documentation is confusing, and it is not possible to correlate previously planned IFT events with currently planned FTG events. Futhermore, not all FTG events enumerated in MDA budget documents can be correlated with flight tests of the Ground Based Interceptor. The Government Accountability Office noted "The constant change to BMDS testing diminishes the traceability of progress and costs. The repeated flight test delays, renaming and combining tests, and removing tests, while necessary to some degree, make it difficult to determine what objectives have been met, when, and with what test. MDA is also challenged to provide the actual costs associated with testing." [GAO-16-339R Ballistic Missile Defense]

  1. IFT-1, on 17 January 1997, did not take place as planned when the Payload Launch Vehicle (PLV) carrying the EKV failed to launch from Kwajalein Missile Range. A a data-link malfunction between the PLV launcher and the ground control system which led to the ground control system aborting the launch prior to liftoff of the kill vehicle. A Multi-Service Launch System (MSLS) carrying target objects for the sensor test was successfully launched from Vandenberg AFB prior to the EKV launch abort, though no intercept of a target was to be attempted for the test.
  2. IFT-1A, on 07 July 1997, was a repeat of IFT-1 which proved the ability of the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) sensor to identify and track objects in space. An intercept was not intended for this mission, which used a candidate infrared sensor built by Boeing.
  3. IFT-2, on 15 January 1998, proved the ability of the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle sensor to identify and track objects in space. An intercept was not intended for this mission, which used a candidate infrared sensor built by Hughes (now Raytheon).
  4. IFT-3, on 02 October 1999, successfully demonstrated "hit to kill technology" to intercept and destroy the ballistic missile target. The target was simplied to include a single decoy, rather than the multiple decoys used in the two previous fly-by tests. Despite a failure in the star tracker, the inertial measurement unit [IMU] of the interceptor oriented the EKV [built by Boeing], which detected the decoy and based on this detection subsequently detected the target warhead, which was destroyed on impact. Critics noted that in this test the decoy paradoxically made it possible for the kill vehicle to detect the warhead, whereas in a combat situation decoys would make detection of the warhead more difficult. The intercept used representatives or prototypes of other elements in a "shadow" mode. They did not provide information to the interceptor as they would during a full system test or during an actual missile attack. Integrated Flight Tests 3 and 4 were originally planned to be conducted in 1998. In all intercept flight tests through 2003 (IFT-3 through IFT-10), the intercept region has been "R1", which is about 700 kilometers from RTS. In early integrated flight tests (e.g., IFT-3), the closing velocity was roughly 7 km/sec (15,600 miles/hr). Crossing Angle is the geometric angle between the velocity vectors of the kill vehicle and designated target. A head-on collision has a crossing angle of 180 degrees, whereas a "tail-chaser" is any engagement with a crossing angle less than 90 degrees. In early flight tests (e.g., IFT-3), the crossing angle was roughly 100 degrees.
  5. IFT-4, on 18 January 2000, failed to intercept the target due to a failure of the EKV infrared homing sensors [built Raytheon / Hughes] a few seconds before the planned intercept. The failure involved a clogged cooling pipe on the kill vehicle. This was the first test that integrated other elements of the NMD system into the actual test scenario. Integrated Flight Tests 3 and 4 were originally planned to be conducted in 1998.
  6. IFT-5, on 08 July 2000, did not achieve an intercept because the kill vehicle never separated from the booster rocket. This was the first Integrated System Test featuring all NMD elements in the initial capability except for the interceptor booster. It was initially planned for April-May 2000, and subsequently delayed to early July 2000.
  7. BV-1, on 28 April 2001, was to be a flight test of three-stage Boeing Booster Vehicle with a mass-simulated kill vehicle payload (non-intercept test). Vehicle did not launch; was used as a pathfinder instead.
  8. IFT-6, on 14 July 2001, was a success -- the kill vehicle hit the target. A few days after the test, it was reported that there were problems with the prototype X-Band Ground Based Radar. In this and previous tests, a beacon was placed on the mock warhead to act in lieu of a functioning early warning radar. This test was originally supposed to happen before the Deployment Readiness Review, but sliped from late July 2000, and then slipped to the Fall of 2000. This test was the second Integrated System Test of all NMD elements in the initial capability except for the interceptor booster -- this test used a surrogate booster. In addition, an anomaly with the prototype exoatmospheric kill vehicle target position estimation data was first noticed during the analysis of IFT-6 (Integrated Flight Test-6) performance data. The target position estimation data provides the kill vehicle with data on its location to an incoming target. While the glitch recurred in subsequent tests, it never interfered with the effectiveness of the EKV.
  9. BV-2, on 31 August 2001, was a flight test of three-stage Boeing Booster Vehicle with a mass-simulated kill vehicle payload (non-intercept test). Flight met most of its objectives.
  10. IFT-7, on 02 December 2001, successfully achieved an intercept. As with the previous intercept, a transponder was used to simulate the upgraded Early Warning Radar, getting the kill vehicle to within 400 meters of the target warhead. The test was initially scheduled for early 2001. This test was initially scheduled to be the first test in which the operational Ground Based Interceptor booster can be used to launch the EKV. However, as of mid-2000 this event had been slipped to the following test, IFT-8. This was the seventh test of the ground-based interceptor, with about 18 more through 2006. Four of six previous trials since October 1999 were successful, including the previous one in July.
  11. BV-3, on 13 December 2001, was a flight test of three-stage Boeing Booster Vehicle with a mass-simulated kill vehicle payload (non-intercept test). Flight was a failure. The BV veered off course 30 seconds after launch and was self-destructed.
  12. IFT-8, on 5 March 2002, achieved an intercept in the most complex test to date, which included a single warhead and three decoys. This test was initially scheduled for mid-2001, and as of mid-2000 this test was the first test in which the operational Ground Based Interceptor booster could be used to launch the EKV, replacing the stand-in Payload Launch Vehicle (PLV) used in earlier tests. In fact, the surrogate PLV launcher was used, given continuing problems with the operational booster.
  13. IFT-9, on 14 October 2002, was a successful intercept test of the ground-based system. The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced it has successfully completed a flight test of the ground-based midcourse defense (GMD) development program, intercepting an intercontinental ballistic missile target. The test was first scheduled for late 2001, and then for for mid-August 2002. It was further delayed when concerns developed over the exhaust nozzles on the first and second rocket motors of the two-stage interceptor. Due to a helium leak in Raytheon's Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, there was a further delay in the test schedule. On 20 August 2002, DoD announced that the test would be postponed 30-45 days, to permit replacement of the rocket motors on the Minuteman booster. The test used a surrogate enemy missile warhead smaller than that used in previous tests, which was harder to detect and destroy. The test contained roughly the same number of decoy balloons as the previous one in March 2002, which added two small decoy balloons to the single large one used earlier.
  14. IFT-10, a night flight test, was slated for 11 December 2002, and would be the last scheduled test using the surrogate booster. The test was originally scheduled for early 2002. The Missile Defense Agency announced it was not able to complete a test involving the planned intercept of a long-range ballistic missile target over the central Pacific Ocean when the exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV) interceptor and the booster rocket failed to separate, preventing the EKV from engaging the target warhead in space.
  15. BV-6 on 16 August 2003 was a flight test of three-stage Orbital Sciences Booster Vehicle (OBV) with a mass-simulated kill vehicle payload (non-intercept test). BV-6 did not demonstrate functionality between the payload and the booster.
  16. BV-5a on 09 January 2004, originally slated for Feb. 20, 2003, was a BV+ Booster Test. The objectives was to characterize Lockheed's BV+ booster performance. All booster objectives were achieved. However, the mock kill vehicle failed to deploy.
  17. IFT-13b was conducted on 26 January 2004, and flew to a simulated intercept point approximately 800 miles downrange and to an altitude of approximately 170 miles above the earth. The test was a successful demonstration of the OSC booster - all test objectives were achieved. Initial analysis shows that booster performance was nominal, in that it was within design parameters and that payload separation was successful. Integrated Flight Test -13b (IFT-13b) included the second successful launch of an Orbital Sciences boost vehicle with an instrumented payload (simulated exoatmospheric kill vehicle) from the Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, in the central Pacific Ocean. No intercept took place, as this was a test of the primary booster to be fielded with the GMD system.
  18. IFT-13C on 14 December 2004 was originally scheduled for March 2004 as a non-intercept attempt (zero-offset flyby) with the OSC booster Configuration. A "zero-offset flyby" means that intercepting the target is not a test objective. However, no action is taken to prevent an intercept. Target launch was from Kodiak, with interceptor launch from Reagan Test Site. A target missile carrying a mock warhead was successfully launched from Kodiak, Alaska at 8:45 p.m. Alaska Standard Time, December 14 (12:45 a.m. EST, December 15). Because the interceptor failed to launch from its silo, test objectives associated with booster and kill vehicle functioning could not be assessed. The root cause of the test failure was attributed to a timing problem with the interceptor's flight computer, which caused the interceptor to abort its launch. IFT-13C was of particular significance, because it was to have demonstrated operational aspects of the LDO capability for the first time in a flight test environment. For example, it was to have demonstrated: (1) the operation of LDO hardware and software; (2) the operation of the kill vehicle mated with an OSC booster; and (3) "real-time" connectivity between Aegis destroyers and the C2BMC.This was the first time a target missile was launched from Kodiak to support an integrated flight test. As the ground-based interceptor at Kwajalein Atoll was preparing to launch approximately 16 minutes later, it was automatically shutdown due to an unknown anomaly.
  19. IFT-14 on 14 February 2005, the Missile Defense Agency announced it was unable to complete a planned flight test after the interceptor missile did not launch from the Ronald Reagan Test Site, Republic of the Marshall Islands, in the central Pacific Ocean. The reason for not launching is under investigation, and program officials reviewed data to determine the cause. Preliminary indications pointed to a fault with the ground support equipment, not the interceptor missile. A target missile carrying a mock warhead was successfully launched from Kodiak, Alaska at 9:22 p.m. (February 13) Alaska Standard Time (1:22 a.m. (February 14) Eastern Standard Time). Beginning with IFT-14, a production representative kill vehicle will be flown that is similar to the configuration to be fielded as part of Block 2004. IFT-14 was planned for the first quarter of FY2004 [October 2003], to test Lockheed's Objective Boost Vehicle, the primary delivery system for the kinetic interceptor. The flight was originally scheduled for mid-2003. By November 2003 it was announced that Integrated Flight Test-14, or IFT-14, would take place in the spring of 2004, rather than the end of 2003 as originally planned. The change in schedule was made so that Missile Defense Agency (MDA) could choose between the two boosters under development by Orbital Sciences [ORB] and Lockheed Martin [LMT]. IFT-14 was originally planned as a fully integrated flight test with an intercept by the production kill vehicle, which is built by Raytheon [RTN]. In that test, the booster, either the one designed by Lockheed Martin or Orbital, would fly out of Kwajalein. IFT-14 was to be the first test of the booster-other than the surrogate used in previous flight test--designed specifically for the BMD system.
  20. IFT-15, conducted on 13 December 2005, was a successful flight test. The interceptor missile was launched from the Ronald Reagan test site, located on the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. IFT-15 had been planned for the first quarter of FY2004 [as of January 2003], a slip from the previous estiamtes of January 2004, or late 2003. It was to be a test of Orbital's objective boost vehicle design. Along with IFT-14, it would be used to choose between the two designs.
  21. IFT-16, conducted on 01 September 2006, was a successful flight test. The interceptor successfully intercepted a target ballistic missile over the Pacific in the widest test in 18 months of the Ground Based Interceptors. The interceptor was launched from Vandenberg AFB, with a threat-representative missile launched from Kodiak Launch IFT-16 had been dropped from the FY2004 budget request submitted in January 2003. It was initially planned for April 2004, is an intercept test that would demonstrate the configuration to be deployed at Ft. Greely. At the time it was cancelled it was planned for the third quarter of fiscal year 2004, but was cancelled by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The primary objective of IFT-16 was similar to that of past flight tests. The test was planned to assess the ability of GMD components to work together as an integrated element, capable of engaging and destroying a mock warhead. However IFT-16 engagement conditions and components differ from those in earlier tests.
  22. FT-1 (formerly FTG 04-1/BV+ RRF/13a/16b/IFT- 1/b) on 13 December 2005 the Missile Defense Agency announced the successful completion of a test involving the launch of an operationally-configured Ground-based Interceptor missile designed to protect the United States against a limited long-range ballistic missile attack. The interceptor missile was launched at approximately 3:04 p.m. (local time, December 14); (10:04 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, December 13) from the Ronald Reagan Test Site, Republic of the Marshall Islands, in the central Pacific Ocean. For this exercise, there was a simulated launch of a target missile from Kodiak, Alaska using data from previous launches. The test was primarily designed to evaluate the performance of the interceptor missile's rocket motor system and exoatmospheric kill vehicle, which is the component that collides directly with a target warhead in space to perform a "hit-to-kill" intercept using only the force of the collision to totally destroy the target warhead. Initial indications are that the rocket motor system and kill vehicle performed well. FTG-04-1 [formerly IFT-16A] planned date for 4Q FY2005 was a system test (intercept attempt) with OSC booster. IFT-16A was a non-intercept radar certification flight test was scheduled for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2004. A flight test of both the battle management software and the radar was be delayed until IFT-16A.
  23. FTG-2, on 01 September 2006, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced it has successfully completed an exercise and flight test involving the launch of an improved ground-based interceptor missile designed to protect the United States against a limited long-range ballistic missile attack. The interceptor missile was launched at 10:39 am PDT (1:39 pm EDT) from the Ronald W. Reagan Missile Defense Site, located at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. For this exercise, a threat-representative target missile was launched from the Kodiak Launch Complex, Kodiak, Alaska. Mission objectives included demonstrating the ability of the Upgraded Early Warning Radar at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., to acquire, track and report the target warhead, and also to assess the performance of the interceptor missile's rocket motor system and exoatmospheric kill vehicle, which is the component that collides directly with a target warhead in space to perform a "hit to kill" intercept using only the force of the collision to totally destroy the target warhead. Initial indications were that the rocket motor system and kill vehicle performed as designed.
  24. FTG-3 was conducted 25 May 2007. The purpose was to demonstrate the functionality of the GBI engage on UEWR Beale engagement sequence group (ESG) for a GBI launched from Vandenberg AFB performing all functions through acquisition, discrimination, transition to terminal, and intercepting the lethal object. Due to target failure, interceptor was not launched, resulting in a "no test".
  25. FTG-3A [formerly FTG 06-4] on 28 September 2007 the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced it has completed an important exercise and flight test involving a successful intercept by a ground-based interceptor missile designed to protect the United States against a limited long-range ballistic missile attack. The interceptor was launched from the Ronald W. Reagan Missile Defense Site, located at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. For this exercise, a threat-representative target missile was launched from Kodiak, Alaska. The exercise was designed to evaluate the performance of several elements of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). Mission objectives included demonstrating the ability of the Upgraded Early Warning Radar at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., to acquire, track and report on objects. FTG 06-4 was planned for the third quarter of FY2007 [As of January 2007]. FTG 06-4 (formerly IFT-25) was scheduled for the fourth quarter of FY2007 [as of January 2005]. IFT-25 had been dropped from the FY2004 budget request submitted in January 2003. It was initially planned for late 2006.
  26. FTG-5 was planned for the fourth quarter of FY2008 [as of January 2008]. Conducted 05 December 2008, it was a success.
  27. FTG-06 (formerly IFT-23/24 and FTG 06-3a/b) conducted 31 January 2010, was a failure. Initially planned for the second quarter of FY2009 [as of January 2008] was intended to demonstrate BMDS functionality of the GBI engage on AN/SPY-1 for GBI launched from Vandenberg AFB to perform all functions through acquisition, discrimination, transition to terminal, and intercepting a medium closing velocity lethal object. FTG 06-3a/b was planned for the second quarter of FY2007 [as of January 2007]. FTG 06-3a/b was scheduled for the second quarter of FY2007 [as of January 2005]. IFT-23 and IFT-24 were scheduled for the second quarter of FY2007 [as of January 2003], a slip from the earlier schedule for 2006. This pair of tests will conduct Multiple Simultaneous Engagements [MSE].
  28. FTG 04-5 was conducted in the first quarter of FY2006. FTG 04-5 is a Ballistic Missile Defense System intercept test of the Limited Defensive Capability -configured Ground-based Midcourse Defense System with a target launched from Kodiak in a south-southeasterly direction to the broad ocean area off the coast of California with an interceptor launched from Vandenberg AFB, CA. The objective of this test was to exercise the “Ground-Based interceptor Engage on Sea Base X-band radar engagement sequence group. The Sea Based X-band radar would provide target track data to the Ground-based Fire Control system,
  29. FTG 04-2 was conducted in the second quarter of FY2006. FTG 04-2 is a Ballistic Missile Defense System intercept test of the !..imited Defensive Capability configured Ground-based Midcourse Defense System with a target launched from Kodiak in a south-southeasterly direction to the broad ocean area off the coast of California and an interceptor launched from Vandenberg AFB, CA. The objective of this test was to exercise the “Ground-Based Interceptor Engage on UEWR” engagement sequence group. The threat representative target used in FTG 04-2 had radar and infrared characteristics that were different from those targets used in the most recent intercept flight tests. The Beale radar would provide target track data to the Ground-based Fire Control system.
  30. FTG 06a was conducted 15 December 2010, but was a failure. FTG 06-1a,b (Salvo Mission) (formerly IFT 20) was scheduled for the fourth quarter of FY2006 [as of January 2005] IFT-20 had been dropped from the FY2004 budget request submitted in January 2003. It was initially planned for 2005. FTG 06-ia,b is a Ballistic Missile Defense System intercept test of the Limited Defensive Capability configured Ground-based Midcoursc Defense System with a target launched from Kodiak in a south-southeasterly direction to the broad ocean area off the coast of California with multiple interceptors launched from Vandenberg AFB, CA. The objective of this test was to exercise the "Ground-Based Interceplor Engage on UEWR/Sea Base X-band radar” engagement sequence group. This test was the first intercept test to include the salvo launch of two interceptors. The Beale radar target track data and the Sea-Based X-Band radar track data would be fused to produce a single target track.
  31. FTG 07 was conducted 05 July 2013, but was a failure. The Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Air Force 30th Space Wing, Joint Functional Component Command, Integrated Missile Defense (JFCC IMD) and U.S. Northern Command conducted an integrated exercise and flight test today of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the nation's Ballistic Missile Defense System. Although a primary objective was the intercept of a long-range ballistic missile target launched from the U.S. Army's Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, an intercept was not achieved. The interceptor missile was launched from Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
  32. FTG 06b was conducted 22 June 2014, and was a success. FTG 06-1b (Salvo Mission) (formerly IFT 21) was scheduled for the fourth quarter of FY2006 [as of January 2005] IFT-21 was scheduled for the second quarter of FY2006 [as of January 2003], a slip from the earlier schedule for 2005. The Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Air Force 30th Space Wing, the Joint Functional Component Command, Integrated Missile Defense, U.S. Northern Command and the U.S. Navy completed an integrated exercise of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the nation’s Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). During the test, a long-range ground-based interceptor launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, intercepted an intermediate-range ballistic missile target launched from the U.S. Army’s Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The test, designated Flight Test Ground-Based Interceptor-06b (FTG-06b), will provide the data necessary to assess the performance of numerous BMDS elements for homeland defense.
  33. On 26 January 2016, MDA conducted a non-intercept flight test for the GMD program. The test was designed to demonstrate discrimination functionality and a new alternate divert thruster (ADT) system. MDA initiated the development of the ADT—a component that steers the kill vehicle in flight to address the systemic problem of in-flight vibration. According to DOT&E, the ADTs turned on and off as commanded and performed nominally, but the EKV experienced an anomaly—most likely damage caused by an foreign-object in a subcomponent not considered part of the ADT system.
  34. FTG-15 - The US Defense Department plans to test a missile defense system 30 May 2017 as North Korea continued the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the US mainland. The test will involve launching a target meant to simulate an ICBM from a base in the Marshall Islands and then shooting it down with a ground-based interceptor launched from Vandenberg AFB in California. MDA delayed the planned intercept test — Flight Test GMD (FTG)-15 — from the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016 until at least the third quarter of fiscal year 2017. FTG-15 is designed to be the first GMD test against an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile range target using upgraded avionics in the booster. GMD needed to conduct this test so the warfighter can have a better understanding on the interceptor’s capabilities and limitations. According to program documentation, FTG-15 was delayed, in part, due to developmental challenges with the interceptor. Delays in conducting FTG-15 increase the risk to completing the fielding of 44 GBIs by the end of December 2017. Delaying FTG-15, increases this risk associated with fielding interceptors within its established time frame because it will reduce the time between the conduct of the test and the subsequent manufacturing and fielding of the GBIs necessary to complete the requirement.
  35. FTG-11 - PB18 includes the first GMD operational flight test, a Salvo intercept using GBIs launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California (VAFB). This intercept test will exercise firing doctrine against an ICBM target with associated objects Ground Based Interceptor Emplacement Fort Greely, Alaska that will be launched from Reagan Test Site (RTS).
  36. GM CTV-03 [Flight Test GM-Controlled Test Vehicle-03], is a non-intercept flight characterization mission with RKV to collect RKV flight environment data using a GBI launched from VAFB.

Cancelled Tests

  1. BV-4 was planned as a 2002 flight test of three-stage Boeing Booster Vehicle with a mass-simulated kill vehicle payload (non-intercept test). Test was canceled.
  2. IFT-11 was scheduled for the second quarter of FY-03, a slip from the original schedule of mid-2002. As of early November 2002, MDA and Boeing were considering skipping IFT-11 and IFT-12 and going directly to IFT-13. In January 2004 it was reported that IFT-11 and IFT-12 had been cancelled, with the following two tests slated to examine new booster models without intercept tests. The previous GMD test program at the time of the deployment readiness review called for a total of 19 integrated flight tests to be carried out through fiscal year 2005. The 2004 test program, however, had a total of 12 integrated flight tests through fiscal year 2005 - because of the cancellation of IFT-11, 12, and 16, and the conversion of IFT-13 to booster tests (IFT-13A and 13B).
  3. IFT-12 was scheduled for the third quarter of FY-03, a slip from the original schedule of late 2002. As of early November 2002, MDA and Boeing were considering skipping IFT-11 and IFT-12 and going directly to IFT-13. In January 2004 it was reported that IFT-11 and IFT-12 had been cancelled, with the following two tests slated to examine new booster models without intercept tests.
  4. IFT-13 was to consist of two separate tests of the Lockheed Martin and Orbital Sciences booster rocket designs. The tests, called IFT-13A and IFT-13B, were planned for the second and third quarters of FY 2003, and reportedly were to be carried out in May and June of 2003. IFT-13 was originally scheduled for early 2003, as the first test in which the operational Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) can be used. IFT-13 was replaced by two nonintercept flights (IFT-13A and IFT-13B) to test two prospective replacements to an unsatisfactory missile booster.
  5. IFT-13A, originally slated for May 2003, was deferred indefinitely until BV+ production resumed. The BV+ Booster Test objectives were to characterize booster and kill vehicle environments and engage simulated target as part of an integrated system.
  6. IFT-17, scheduled for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2005 [as of February 2004], was to be the first test with an interceptor launched from Vandenberg. IFT-17 was scheduled for the second quarter of FY2005 [as of January 2003], a slip from the earlier schedule for 2004. With the cancellation of IFT-16, MDA expected to have a 13-month gap between IFT-15, planned for January 2004, and IFT-17, scheduled for February 2005.
  7. IFT-18 was scheduled for the fourth quarter of FY2005 [as of January 2003], a slip from the earlier schedule for 2004.
  8. IFT-19 had been dropped from the FY2004 budget request submitted in January 2003. It was initially planned for 2005.
  9. IFT-26 had been dropped from the schedule by FY2006. It was scheduled for the third quarter of FY2007 [as of January 2003].
  10. IFT-27 had been dropped from the FY2004 budget request submitted in January 2003.
  11. IFT-28 had been dropped from the schedule by FY2006. It had been dropped from the FY2004 budget request submitted in January 2003.
  12. IFT-29 had been dropped from the schedule by FY2006. It was scheduled for the first quarter of FY2008 [as of January 2003].
  13. IFT-30 had been dropped from the schedule by FY2006. It was scheduled for the first quarter of FY2009 [as of January 2003].
  14. FTG 06-2 was planned for the first quarter of FY2007. FTG 06-2 (formerly IFT 22) was scheduled for the first quarter of FY2007 [as of January 2005]. IFT-22 was scheduled for the fourth quarter of FY2006 [as of January 2003], a slip from the earlier schedule for 2006. FTG 06-2 was a Ballistic Missile Defense System intercept test of thee Limited Defensive Capability configured Ground-based Midcourse Defense System with a target launched from Kodiak in a south-southea.sterly direction to the broad ocean area off' the coast of California with an interceptor launched from Vandenberg AFB, CA. The objective of this test was to expand the demonstrated Ground-based Interceptor engagement envelope by increasing the fly out time of the interceptor.
  15. FTG-4 was planned for the second quarter of FY2008 [as of January 2008].
  16. BVT-1, planned for the fourth quarter of FY2009 [as of January 2008], would demonstrate two-stage booster (European Capability Fielding) performance on engagement flyout with energy management maneuvers.
  17. FTG-07 was planned for the second quarter of FY2010 [as of January 2008].
  18. FTG-08 was planned for the fourth quarter of FY2010 [as of January 2008].
  19. FTG-9 was planned for the second quarter of FY2011 [as of January 2008].
  20. FTG-10 was planned for the fourth quarter of FY2011 [as of January 2008].
  21. FTG-11 was planned for the second quarter of FY2012 [as of January 2008].
  22. FTG-12 was planned for the fourth quarter of FY2012 [as of January 2008].
  23. FTG-13 was planned for the second quarter of FY2013 [as of January 2008].
  24. FTG-14 was planned for the fourth quarter of FY2013 [as of January 2008].
  25. FTG 06-5 (BV+RRF/16b) was scheduled some time between for the first quarter of FY2008 and the fourth quarter of FY2008 [as of January 2007]. With the reorganization of the overall program Blocks in FY2008, the GBI flight tests denominated under this nomenclature have been eliminated.
  26. FTG 08-1 was scheduled for some time between the second quarter of FY2008 and the first quarter of 2009 [as of January 2007].
  27. FTG 08-2 was scheduled for some time between the third quarter of FY2008 and the second quarter of 2009 [as of January 2007].
  28. FTG 08-3a was scheduled for some time between the fourth quarter of FY2008 and the second quarter of 2009 [as of January 2007].
  29. FTG 08-3b was scheduled for some time between the fourth quarter of FY2008 and the third quarter of 2009 [as of January 2007].
  30. FTG 08-4 was scheduled for some time between the first quarter of FY2009 and the fourth quarter of 2009 [as of January 2007].
  31. FTG 08-5 was scheduled for some time between the third quarter of FY2009 and the second quarter of 2010 [as of January 2007].

The Bush Administration planned to conduct four flight tests each fiscal year, an aggressive schedule MDA that was developed to make it possibled for the system to be used in an emergency situation as early as October 2004.

In early 2002 MDA selected Orbital Sciences [ORB] to build an alternative booster vehicle for the program after problems surfaced with the Boeing commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) booster.

While the GMD tests through 2002 used the Raytheon-built EKV, an effort was underway to develop a second EKV option for the program. In the fall of 2002 MDA modified a contract with GMD lead systems integrator Boeing to move forward with concept development of a complementary EKV (CEKV) for the missile defense program. The CEKV effort was envisioned as a multi-phased acquisition supporting both the GMD and Sea-Based Midcourse Defense (SMD) programs.





NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list