Syring: Missile Test
Important Step for Missile Defense System
By Cheryl Pellerin, American Forces Press Service.
Washington D.C. – (AFPS)
– June 23, 2014 – The Missile Defense Agency and its joint
partners completed the first intercept using the second-generation
exoatmospheric kill vehicle, or EKV, during a test over the Pacific Ocean
The Missile Defense Agency's FTG-06b Ground-Based
Interceptor launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., June 22
All components seemed to perform as designed, MDA officials
said in a statement, and program officials will spend the next several months
assessing and evaluating system performance based on telemetry and other test
The test, called flight test ground-based interceptor-06b, or
FTG-06b, will provide the data needed for the assessment and to assess the
performance of many Ballistic Missile Defense System elements for homeland
defense, officials said.
The MDA, the Air Force’s 30th Space Wing, Joint Functional
Component Command, Integrated Missile Defense, U.S. Northern Command and the
Navy were involved in the integrated exercise. "This is a very important step in
our continuing efforts to improve and increase the reliability of our homeland
ballistic missile defense system,” Missile Defense Agency Director Navy Vice Adm.
James D. Syring said in a statement.
“We'll continue efforts to ensure our deployed ground-based
interceptors and our overall homeland defensive architecture continue to provide
the warfighter an effective and dependable system to defend the country,” he
added, after congratulating the government and industry team that conducted the
test. “Their professionalism and dedication made this test a success,” Syring
The BMDS is designed to counter ballistic missile threats of
all ranges -- short, medium, intermediate and long. The system has many
integrated elements and a layered architecture that offers several ways to
destroy incoming missiles and warheads before they reach their targets.
The architecture includes networked sensors and ground- and
sea-based radars to detect and track targets, and ground- and sea-based
interceptor missiles like the EKV to destroy a ballistic missile using the
kinetic energy from a direct hit. This is called “hit-to-kill” technology. An
explosive blast fragmentation warhead also can destroy a ballistic missile.
Yesterday’s successful test used the second-generation
capability enhancement II, or CE-II, EKV. The architecture also includes a
command-and-control, battle-management and communications network that gives
operational commanders links between sensors and interceptor missiles.
Earlier this month, Syring testified before the Senate
Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee on the agency’s budget request
for fiscal year 2015. “My highest priority remains the successful intercept
flight test of the CE-II [variant] exoatmospheric kill vehicle,” he told the
In December 2010, two intercept tests of the EKV failed, but
in January 2013 the agency conducted a successful nonintercept flight test of
the EKV and confirmed it was on the right path to return the ground-based
midcourse defense element of the system to sustained flight testing.
During yesterday’s test, an intermediate-range ballistic
missile target representing a threat to the U.S. homeland was launched from the
Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The Navy destroyer
USS Hopper, with its Aegis weapon system, detected and tracked the target using
onboard AN/SPY-1 radar that sent data to the ground-based midcourse defense
fire-control system via the command, control, battle management and
communication system. The sea-based X-band radar also tracked the target and
relayed information to the GMD fire control system to help with target
engagement and to collect test data.
About six minutes after target launch, the ground-based
interceptor launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Then an
operational crew of soldiers from the Army’s 100th Missile Defense Brigade at
Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado remotely launched the interceptor, and a
three-stage booster rocket system propelled the interceptor's EKV into the
target missile's projected trajectory in space.
The kill vehicle maneuvered to the target, performed
discrimination -- or determined the difference between the warhead and a decoy
-- and intercepted the threat warhead using only the force of the direct
collision to destroy it.
This was the first intercept using the second-generation EKV.
The test was the 65th successful hit-to-kill intercept of 81
attempts since 2001 for the Ballistic Missile Defense System, officials said.
The system’s ground-based midcourse defense element has completed four
intercepts since 2006 using the operationally configured interceptor.
Operational ground-based interceptors are deployed at Fort
Greely in Alaska and at Vandenberg, MDA officials said in a statement, to
protect the United States and its allies and friends against a limited
long-range ballistic missile attack.
(Follow Cheryl Pellerin on
Twitter: @PellerinAFPS) :
Navy Vice Adm. James D. Syring
Missile Defense Agency
2013 Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat
U.S. Conducts Successful Missile Intercept Test in Pacific
Target Missile Intercepted Over the
Pacific Ocean During Missile Defense Exercise