The Missile Defense Agency successfully conducted a flight test of a two-stage Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI), launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 3:25 p.m. PDT. The two-stage GBI is undergoing developmental testing as part of the Department of Defense’s strategy to invest in a new missile defense option which can contribute to our homeland’s defense. Results from the test will characterize two-stage performance and design for potential future missile defense applications.
A target missile was not launched for this flight test. After performing flyout maneuvers, the two-stage booster delivered an exoatmospheric kill vehicle to a designated point in space. The exoatmospheric kill vehicle is the component that, if a target missile were present, would collide directly with the threat warhead to perform a “hit to kill” intercept. After separating from the second-stage booster, the kill vehicle executed a variety of maneuvers to collect data to further prove the performance of the kill vehicle in space.
Initial indications are that all components performed as designed. Program officials will evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.