Northrop To Show Full-Scale Kinetic Energy Interceptor Model At Huntsville
A full-scale model of the Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI) ballistic missile defense (BMD) system will be on display this week at the 2007 Space and Missile Defense Conference and Exhibition at Huntsville, Ala., Northrop Grumman Corp. [NOC] announced.
Northrop and Raytheon Co. [RTN] provide the KEI, which rockets into the sky and intercepts an enemy missile, destroying it by slamming into the threatening weapon.
KEI is the only system that kills enemy missiles in their vulnerable “boost” phase just after launch, except for the Airborne Laser (ABL) system. ABL involves a heavily- modified Boeing 747 aircraft supplied by The Boeing Co. [BA], the ABL prime contractor; a high-energy laser supplied by Northrop that destroys the enemy missile and fries its electronics; and a beam control/fire control system by Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT].
The KEI display will include the 39-foot interceptor model, command-and-control trailer known as the “Pathfinder” vehicle, and the mobile dual-launcher.
Northrop is responsible for developing and testing the KEI system, capable of intercepting enemy missiles in the boost, ascent and midcourse phases of flight. The program has met every milestone to date and is on track for its first booster test flight next year, according to Northrop. A shoot-down of a target missile is seen around the end of the decade.
Northrop also will provide other displays at the conference.
Adjacent to the KEI will be the CPP Light system model, featuring an M1152 Humvee carrying three transit cases and two radio racks.
Northrop Grumman is building the CPP Light system, which will give soldiers the mobility required for full-spectrum operations coupled with the added protection and expediency provided by operating out of fixed facilities.
Northrop also will showcase key missile defense programs at a booth and illustrate its integration expertise via several futuristic missile defense battle scenarios played out on a touch screen display.
Key programs featured include the Space Tracking and Surveillance System, a low-Earth orbiting surveillance system developed by Northrop Grumman that will detect, track, and discriminate ballistic missiles throughout their flight trajectories; the Missile Defense Integration and Operations Center (formerly known as the Joint National Integration Center) where the company is the prime contractor working with MDA to develop system-level solutions to missile defense integration; ABL; and the fire control and launch control software capability for the current Ground-based Midcourse Defense program.
GMD, led by prime contractor Boeing, is now installed in Alaska and California, and the United States is negotiating to install it at a third site, in Europe, to defend against missiles launched from Middle Eastern nations such as Iran. The GMD system involves Boeing as prime, Raytheon providing kill vehicles and radars, Northrop providing items such as command and control, Lockheed and Orbital Sciences Corp. [ORB] contributing booster vehicles, and Bechtel and Teledyne Brown Engineering providing other items.