GMD restarts flight testing after 2010 intercept misses
By Daniel Wasserbly
The Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) counter-ballistic missile system is working its way back from two failed intercept tests with an initial flight test on 26 January.
According to the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the flight test saw a three-stage ground-based interceptor (GBI) launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in order to gather data on the next-generation Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) system in a flight environment.
During a December 2010 hit-to-kill intercept test the EKV's guidance system had been negatively affected by conditions in outer space, causing the vehicle to miss its target, GMD prime contractor Boeing has said. That test employed an interceptor fitted with an EKV in the new Capability Enhancement II (CE-II) configuration.
Both CE-I and CE-II EKVs are deployed at bases in California and Alaska. The MDA said at the time that the CE-I system does not share the same design flaw.
In January 2011 the MDA stopped accepting any further EKVs until after a successful intercept test. Such a test has not yet been scheduled.174 of 472 words
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