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LOCKHEED MARTIN team test propulsion system for missile defense agency’s multiple kill vehicle


EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.-Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) announced that its team tested a key element of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s revolutionary Multiple Kill Vehicle payload at Edwards Air Force Base’s National Hover Test Facility. An extended duration demonstration of the carrier vehicle’s divert and attitude control system, built by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, met performance objectives established by the Agency.

“This critical subsystem test completes a key knowledge point for the program,” said Rick Reginato, Multiple Kill Vehicle program director, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “The performance of the divert and attitude control subsystem tested shows we are making significant progress in the Multiple Kill Vehicle payload development.”

During an engagement with the enemy, this high-performance propulsion system maneuvers the carrier vehicle and its cargo of kill vehicles into the threat complex to intercept the targets. With tracking data from the Ballistic Missile Defense System and its own heat detecting sensor, the carrier vehicle dispenses and guides the kill vehicles to destroy targets in the complex using their own individual maneuver rockets.

The Multiple Kill Vehicle adds volume kill capability for the war fighter and is a force multiplier for all of the land- and sea-based weapons of the integrated midcourse missile defense system. In the event of an enemy launch, a single interceptor equipped with this payload destroys not only the re-entry vehicle but also all credible threat objects; including countermeasures the enemy deploys to try to spoof our defenses. This many-on-many strategy eliminates the need for extensive pre-launch intelligence while leveraging the Ballistic Missile Defense System’s discrimination capability, ensuring a robust and affordable solution to emerging threats. Developing, testing and deploying a layered Ballistic Missile Defense System for the U.S. homeland, its deployed forces, friends and allies is essential for protecting against ballistic missiles of all ranges in all phases of flight.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company, of Canoga Park, Calif is the propulsion contractor. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the prime contractor for the Multiple Kill Vehicle payload system.


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