Boeing, Northrop Grumman conduct missile system flight test

By Ryan Maass  |  Jan. 29, 2016 at 11:15 AM
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Boeing and Northrop Grumman collaborated with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency to test improvements for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system.

The test was performed to verify the GMD's system components, and assess its ability to engage and destroy ballistic missile targets. During the test, a GMD interceptor was used for an intentional fly-by of a target representing an advanced long-range ballistic missile.

"The Missile Defense Agency's test design enabled the collection of critical data to validate key design improvements for the U.S. homeland defense architecture," Boeing vice president and GMD program director Norm Tew said. "This data will also support future development such as the work that's currently underway on the Boeing-led redesigned kill vehicle."

Northrop Grumman supported Boeing and the Missile Defense Agency in the test by managing the fire control system, which coordinates sensor information and orchestrates the system's target engagement.

"Our system determines which threat to engage, builds the threat picture, allocates resources and provides and updates the information guiding the kill vehicle," Northrop Grumman Missile Systems general manager Dan Verwiel said.

The Ground-based Midcourse Defense system is an element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System, which is designed to engage limited intermediate and long-range ballistic missile attacks against the United States. The system uses integrated communication networks, deployed sensors, and the Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicle to destroy incoming targets.

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