|New Target System Demonstrates Right Stuff
Army Space and Missile Defense Command demonstrates new ballistic missile target
On May 28, 2000, the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) successfully conducted the demonstration flight of the Orbital/Suborbital Program, or OSP, Target Launch Vehicle, or TVL, SMDCs newest strategic target from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The Ballistic Missile Targets Joint Project Office (BMTJPO) is the executing agent for all ballistic missile targets acquired for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO). BMTJPOs Strategic Targets Product Office (STPO) provides all strategic missile targets for BMDOs National Missile Defense, or NMD, program.
The new target launch
vehicle was developed to meet future integrated flight test requirements for NMD. The TLV
system consists of a front section atop a three-stage Minuteman II booster. The front section is comprised of a clamshell
shroud which houses the target payload, the guidance control assembly module and a
separation module. Orbital Sciences
Corporation, under contract to the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC),
builds the front section and provides launch services for the OSP mission.
Sandia National Laboratories builds the target payloads and the
deployment rack. The payload for the
demonstration mission consisted of a re-entry vehicle mass simulator, and instrumented
medium balloon decoy, four canisterized medium balloon decoys, and a canisterized large
balloon decoy. This payload was selected to
provide traceability to previous NMD missions while flight testing new technologies.
The OSP TLV demonstration flight is also being used as a risk reduction flight by NMD for its radars and battle management system elements. No intercept was attempted. In the demonstration flight, the OSP TLV was launched from Launch Facility 06 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., to a point in the broad ocean area north of SMDC's Kwajalein Missile Range. The re-entry vehicle mass simulator traveled over 4000 miles before burning up in the atmosphere upon re-entry. Some of SMDCs sensors participating as part of the risk reduction flight were the Airborne Surveillance Testbed and HALO/IRIS airplane.
Our joint team has worked extremely hard to get to this point and we look forward to NMD intercepting re-entry vehicles from our new launch system in the future, said Lt. Col. Tom Harvill, product manager of the STPO at SMDCs BMTJPO in Huntsville, Ala.
News released furnished by U.S. Army Space and Missile Command Public Affairs Office
|Posted 2 June 2000|