Index

04 December 2001

Text: Anti-Ballistic Missile Test Is Successful

(Intercept vehicle tracked and destroyed ballistic missile over
Pacific) (710)

The U.S. Defense Department announced December 3 that it had
successfully conducted a test in which an interceptor, called an
exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV), tracked and destroyed an
intercontinental ballistic missile over the Pacific.

The test involved a modified Minuteman missile launched from
California, and an EKV interceptor launched 20 minutes later from
Kwajalein Atoll. According to the Ballistic Missile Defense
Organization (BMDO), the interceptor successfully identified, tracked,
and destroyed the missile approximately 10 minutes later with a
direct, "hit-to-kill" impact at an altitude of more than 140 miles
above the earth.

The test demonstrated the integration of earth- and space-based
sensors and radars as well as other elements of the Ground-based
Midcourse Defense (GMD) Segment, formerly known as National Missile
Defense. It is the third successful intercept of a long-range
ballistic missile in five attempts.

Following the text of the statement issued by the Department of
Defense:

(begin text)

DoD News: 
Missile Intercept Test Successful 
United States Department of Defense 
NEWS RELEASE 
December 3, 2001

MISSILE INTERCEPT TEST SUCCESSFUL

The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) announced today it
has successfully completed a test involving a planned intercept of an
intercontinental ballistic missile target.

The test took place over the central Pacific Ocean. A modified
Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) target vehicle was
launched from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., at 9:59 p.m. EST, and a
prototype interceptor was launched approximately 20 minutes later and
4,800 miles away from the Ronald Reagan Missile Site Kwajalein Atoll
in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The intercept took place
approximately 10 minutes after the interceptor was launched, at an
altitude in excess of 140 miles above the earth, and during the
midcourse phase of the target warhead's flight. This was the third
successful intercept for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD)
Segment, formerly known as National Missile Defense.

The test successfully demonstrated exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV)
flight performance and "hit to kill" technology to intercept and
destroy a long-range ballistic missile target. In addition to the EKV
locating, tracking, and intercepting the target resulting in its
destruction using only the body-to-body impact, this test also
demonstrated the ability of system elements to work together as an
integrated system. The test involved the successful integrated
operation of space and ground-based sensors and radars, as well as the
Battle Management, Command Control and Communications (BMC3) function
to detect the launch of the target missile, cue an early warning radar
to provide more detailed target location data; and integration of a
prototype X-Band radar (based at Kwajalein) to provide precise target
data to the EKV, which received the target updates from the In-Flight
Interceptor Communications Systems (IFICS) at Kwajalein.

The EKV separated from its rocket booster more than 1,400 miles from
the target warhead. After separation, it used its on-board infrared
and visual sensors, augmented with the X-Band radar data provided by
BMC3 via the In-flight Interceptor Communications System, to locate
and track the target. Sensors aboard the EKV also successfully
selected the target instead of a large balloon, which functioned as a
decoy. Only system-generated data was used for the intercept after the
EKV separated from its booster rocket. A C-band transponder aboard the
target warhead did not provide any tracking or targeting information
to the interceptor after the interceptor was launched.

Tonight's test is a major step in our aggressive test program, and is
the third successful intercept in five attempts. We will continue to
pursue this testing regime to achieve a layered approach to missile
defense, using different architectures to deter the growing threat of
ballistic missiles carrying weapons of mass destruction.

Over the next several weeks, government and industry program officials
will conduct an extensive analysis of the data received during the
flight test to determine whether anomalies or malfunctions occurred
during the test, evaluate system performance and determine whether or
not all flight test objectives were met. Since the system is in the
developmental phase of design and testing, performance of individual
elements and the overall system integration was as important as the
actual intercept.

(end text)

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