The Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system built by Boeing successfully intercepted a threat representative of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), demonstrating the system’s ability to detect, engage and destroy targets and validating its technological advances.
The target was launched from Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean and the interceptor was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Boeing has been the prime contractor for GMD since 2001 and works with an industry team to incorporate improvements.
(Pentagon successfully tests ICBM intercept defense system for first time. Courtesy of The Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance and YouTube)
“We are replicating our ability to defend the United States of America from North Korea, today,” Ellison said.
“This successful test keeps the United States on track for a significant increase in interceptor inventory of 44 in 2017,” said Norm Tew, vice president and GMD program director.
“In addition, the GMD program remains on track to evolve and modernize this crucial national defense asset in the face of an evolving threat environment, with system upgrades and future technology including the Boeing-led Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV).”
(The Pentagon prepared on Tuesday for a first-ever missile defense test involving a simulated attack by an intercontinental ballistic missile, like the one North Korea seeks to develop, in what experts saw as a high-stakes moment for the U.S. program. Courtesy of Wochit News and YouTube)
GMD is an integral element of the United States’ layered ballistic missile defense architecture, with interceptors at Vandenberg Air Force Base and Fort Greely, Alaska.
The program comprises command-and-control facilities, communications terminals and a 20,000-mile fiber-optic communications network that interfaces with ballistic missile defense radars and other sensors.