MDA to North Korea: GMD is (Almost) Back!

RSS

In the greater world stage of unspoken dialogue, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency just may not be waiting in the wings any more. 

MDA finally executed what officials say is a flight of the Ground-Based Missile Defense system in which "all components performed as designed."GMD is the ballistic missile defense system created to protect the homeland from an attack, primarily from North Korea. 

The GMD flight took place Jan. 26 at 2:00 pm Pacific time from Vandenberg AFB, Calif. This flight lacked a target and intercept attempt. It was designed to "flyout" the capabilities of the booster and EKV Capability Enhancement 2 upgrade. This EKV CE 2 was to blame for one of two target misses in 2010, prompting MDA to halt GMD testing pending review and fixes. At least one factor was vibration impacting the propulsion system.

While a legacy version of GMD -- including a three-stage Orbital booster and a Raytheon Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle -- has remained on alert, the upgraded version of this hit-to-kill mechanism has been grounded for two years. 

The last successful intercept of the three-stage GMD took place in December 2008; in the meantime North Korea has refined its missile and nuclear technologies. 

MDA experts will assess telemetry from the test and compare it against models to understand whether the EKV CE 2 fixes addressed earlier problems. 

Ultimately, MDA hopes to conduct an intercept attempt between March and June using the upgraded kill vehicle. This will be a retest of the failed intercept attempt in December 2010. 

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Ares?

Aviation Week's defense blog

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.

 

Aug 27, 2015
blog

Aviation Week Lifts Veil On Boeing B-52 Bomber (1952) 20

In 1952, Aviation Week provided the first details on the new Boeing B-52 bomber....More
Aug 14, 2015
blog

Bonanza Travel Pays 3

The legendary Beechcraft Bonanza has an impressive production record, so perhaps the marketers back in 1949 were onto something when they coined the phrase "Bonanza travel pays."...More
Aug 14, 2015
blog

Venerable Boeing 727 Prototype To Fly Again 29

The most famous 727, the prototype aircraft which would join United as N7001U, was delivered to the airline in October 1964 having served its time as a Boeing test aircraft....More
Aug 13, 2015
blog

Aviation Week And The Bomb

Aviation News did not predict how nuclear weapons would change the world. But neither did anyone else....More
Aug 13, 2015
blog

Collins Radar Takes The Ups And Downs Out Of Flying

Turbulence? Rockwell Collins had a solution for those bumpy rides in the early 80s with its WXR-700 Doppler Weather Radar....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×