A Raytheon Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle interceptor successfully defeated a ballistic missile target during a December 2024 test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense System, marking the program’s 13th intercept.

Boeing, Raytheon Report Successful Missile Intercept

Dec. 12, 2023
A Raytheon interceptor targeted an intermediate-range ballistic missile in space, demonstrating the Boeing-developed Ground-based Midcourse Defense system is “operational, reliable, and ready to protect.”

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency, along with Boeing Co. and Raytheon, on Monday, December 11 announced a successful interception of an intermediate-range ballistic missile in space during test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system. The test conducted over the Pacific Ocean was the 13th intercept for the GMD program, which is designed to protect the continental U.S., plus Alaska and Hawaii, by destroying incoming ballistic missiles while they are outside the Earth's atmosphere.

During the test, a GMD interceptor released an Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (a “kinetic force weapon”) during the second stage of the rocket booster's normal three-stage flight sequence. The threat-representative target was air-launched from the “broad ocean area” and the interceptor was deployed from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

"This successful test is important because it opens up the window of opportunity to intercept threats to our homeland," stated Boeing’s Debbie Barnett, vice president of Strategic Missile & Defense Systems.

Boeing is the lead system integrator for the GMD program, and Raytheon is the developer/supplier of the EKV interceptor.

According to Boeing, the GMD was developed to detect, intercept, and destroy long-range ballistic missiles during the midcourse phase of flight, and provides early detection and tracking during the boost and midcourse phase, as well as target discrimination, precision intercept and target destruction through force of collision.

"This test demonstrates that the U.S. ballistic missile defense system is operational, reliable, and ready to protect the country," stated Raytheon president Wes Kremer. "Raytheon kill vehicles have now successfully completed nearly 50 space intercepts, which underscores our expertise and ability to design and develop these systems to defeat the evolving threat."

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