Operators Can Select Two- or Three-Stage Interceptor
Boeing and the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) have successfully demonstrated an advanced interceptor capability for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, which defends against rogue-state long-range ICBM threats. The test included launching a Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) into space with a three-stage booster in two-stage mode, allowing the GBI to release the kill vehicle earlier in flight, providing an earlier opportunity to intercept and defeat a missile threat.
The new capability, made possible through digital system modelling software upgrades, gives operators the real-time choice between a two-stage or three-stage interceptor, depending on threat location and speed. The stage mode determines when the kill vehicle is released from the GBI. This achievement will allow GBIs to be modernised and fielded with this critical capability as part of the MDA’s Service Life Extension Program.
“The GMD system is reliable and ready if called upon,” commented Debbie Barnett, Boeing GMD VP and Program Director, adding that Boeing has led the development, integration and maintenance of the system for over 20 years. Boeing leads the industry team for GMD systems engineering, development, integration, testing, operations and sustainment activities of the fielded system, having been prime contractor for the system since 1998.