Orbital ATK launches Patriot system target vehicle

Orbital ATK announces the successful launch of a target vehicle for the Patriot air defense system.
By Richard Tomkins  |  Sept. 21, 2017 at 11:19 AM
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Sept. 21 (UPI) -- A Patriot target vehicle has been successfully launched from Wake Island by Orbital ATK for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center.

The launch into the Reagan test site at Kwajalein island earlier this month, and announced Thursday by Orbital, was part of a readiness test of the U.S. Army Lower Tier Project Office PATRIOT air and missile defense system.

"We are very pleased to support the Air Force and Army with a fifth successful target launch -- it flew its planned sequence precisely as expected," Rich Straka, vice president and general manager of Orbital ATK's Launch Vehicles Division, said in a press release. "We look forward to future tests with the PTV to continue supporting the readiness of the nation's PATRIOT system."

The Janus target and its re-entry vehicle took Orbital ATK 19 months to develop and relied heavily on flight-proven designs from other Orbital ATK launch programs, the company said.

Orbital ATK produces target vehicles for the Navy's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system, the Missile Defense Agency's Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, and the U.S. Army's THAAD system, as well as for the Patriot system.

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