MDA Suspends Deliveries of Raytheon’s GMD Kill Vehicles

Space News
By Turner Brinton
April 1, 2011

Following the second consecutive flight test failure of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system in December, the director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) suspended deliveries of a new kill vehicle that flew on both test flights, a government watchdog agency said March 24.

Overall, the MDA made good progress in delivering missile defense assets in 2010 and improved its transparency and accountability, but the agency’s cost and schedule baselines are often incomplete and sometimes contain conflicting information, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office report, “Missile Defense: Actions Needed to Improve Transparency and Accountability.”

The failed January 2010 intercept test of the GMD system was the first to use the CE-2 variant of the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle developed by Raytheon Missile Systems of Tucson, Ariz. The interceptor failed to hit the target missile, and a failure investigation board faulted both the kill vehicle and the Sea-Based X-band radar. …

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