Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, successfully launched and tested its Orbital Boost Vehicle (OBV) rocket for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) as part of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) FTG-15 Flight Test. The company also supplied its Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) target rocket for this critical national security system test.
The OBV was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on May 30, 2017. Orbital ATK provides the OBV to MDA as part of an industry team led by The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA).
“This flight test was a major undertaking for Orbital ATK as we supplied both the boost vehicle for the interceptor and the target,” said Rich Straka, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Launch Vehicles Division. “Today’s successful test confirms the United States’ missile defense program stands ready to protect against long-range missile attacks, and we are proud to be a part of that team.”
FTG-15 was the first flight of the “C2” configuration of the OBV, which includes upgraded avionics and safety systems to address new requirements and obsolescence issues with the legacy vehicles. It was also the first flight of the ICBM range target. MDA’s goal is to expand the Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) fleet to 44 missiles by the end of 2017.
“Orbital ATK is honored to be a part of MDA’s charge to strengthen the national defenses from 30 to 44 GBI Interceptors in 2017,” said Straka. “We understand the importance of this goal and, we are focused on mission success.”
Following a preliminary post-flight analysis of the data collected from the mission, MDA and the GMD team confirmed all primary OBV objectives for the interceptor test were achieved. These included pre-launch built-in test functionality, silo launch and fly out of the OBV and accurate booster delivery of the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) to enable intercept of the target.
The MDA/Orbital ATK ICBM Team also confirmed nominal operation of the target, meeting all primary mission objectives. The ICBM is largest target in a broader family of targets that Orbital ATK supplies to the MDA for Ballistic Missile Defense System testing.
Orbital ATK’s missile defense interceptors and related target vehicles are primarily produced at the company’s engineering and manufacturing facility in Chandler, Arizona, with solid rocket motor propulsion manufactured in Magna, Utah, and its vehicle assembly and integration facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and Huntsville, Alabama.
Today’s OBV mission was executed under the GMD Development and Sustainment Contract, which continues through at least 2018. Orbital ATK developed the OBV under a multi-year contract with Boeing that began in 2002. Together the OBV and the EKV comprise the GBI, which is assembled by Boeing.
The ICBM target was provided under the Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile contract, which continues at least thru 2019 with options for additional target vehicles and launches.
Source: Orbital ATK, Inc.
Date: May 31, 2017