WATCH: ‘Two shot salvo’ destroys mock ballistic missile in US test


For the first time, the US Missile Defense Agency, launched two Raytheon-built Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicles in a back-to-back test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system.

The organisation say that one EKV destroyed a mock intercontinental ballistic missile and the other gathered data in what is called a “two-shot salvo” engagement.

It was the eleventh intercept for the GMD programme, which is designed to protect the US by destroying incoming ballistic missiles while they are still in space. The historic double launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California mirrored a real-world scenario, where more than one interceptor is fired to ensure an incoming missile will be destroyed.

“The system is among the most complex, and serves as the first line of ballistic missile defense for the United States,” said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president in a news statement after the launch.

After receiving tracking and targeting data from Raytheon’s sea-based X-band radar and land-based AN/TPY-2 radar, the EKV identified the target, discriminated between the target and countermeasures, maneuvered into the target’s path and destroyed it using “hit-to-kill” technology. Both radars play critical roles in supporting the GMD system.

“In these tests, we see the entire ballistic missile defense system at work. The sensors bring the ability to identify, track and discriminate threats early in the engagement,” said Bryan Rosselli, vice president of Raytheon’s Mission Systems and Sensors.

“The precision a kill vehicle intercept requires begins with the critical targeting data.”

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2 years ago

This is the right direction to counter rogue states and terrorist taking over command of a nuke system; if ever such a scenario was at all feasible? As for military balance, the existence of an interceptor weapon could, in reality, increase the chances of conflict between major powers as daft as that may sound?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 years ago
Reply to  maurice10


Because of the whole point of MAD.

The Soviets used to say that concerning President Reagan’s SDI.

If one develops this system to such a degree it negates a counter force strike by the other it could cause problems.

However, such is the number of MIRV held by both sides even this system expanded further and the long standing Moscow ABM defences maybe are not enough to guarantee safety.

I recall the UK’s Polaris had the Chevaline system developed by AWE to counter Moscow’s ABM system.

But for smaller “rogue states” and other such, I agree.

2 years ago

Is it just me but the BM launch is at night as is the kill while intercept launch is in broad daylight… Long range or what


2 years ago
Reply to  Pete

Kwajalein Atoll, where the ballistic missile was launched from is 4841.138 miles southwest of Vandenberg Air Force Base where the interceptors where launched from.