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BMD Kill Vehicle Thruster Finishes Initial Testing

By | July 24, 2006

      The kill vehicle divert thruster for the Multiple Kill Vehicle Payload System completed initial testing, Lockheed Martin [LMT] stated.

      The test series demonstrated the feasibility of using a divert and attitude control system that employs liquid monopropellant as a low-risk solution for the kill vehicle component of the Multiple Kill Vehicle Payload System, according to Lockheed.

      Testing of the complete flight-weight prototype thruster and valve combination demonstrated compliance with the performance and life goals of the kill vehicle divert and attitude control system, which will position the kill vehicle to intercept its target.

      Lockheed Martin subcontractor, Aerojet, a GenCorp Inc. [GY] unit, completed testing at its Redmond, Wash., test facility.

      In event of an enemy launch, a single interceptor equipped with the Multiple Kill Vehicle Payload System will destroy the enemy lethal reentry vehicle along with any countermeasures deployed to try to spoof the missile defense system, according to Lockheed.

      This many-on-many strategy reduces the need for extensive pre-launch intelligence and leverages the Ballistic Missile Defense System discrimination capability, the company stated.

      Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the Multiple Kill Vehicle Payload System. The Army Space and Missile Defense Command, in Huntsville, Ala., executes the program for the Missile Defense Agency.

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