New thrusters system designed for the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) of the Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) missile have passed an important validation test yesterday. The planned test that was originally scheduled for late 2015 did not include a target intercept. The test evaluated the CE-II EKV that demonstrated the performance of alternate divert thrusters in a flight environment. It also performed end-to-end discrimination of a complex target scene through the GMD fire control loop. The next flight test will conduct full intercept of a target simulating an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICMB).
The interceptor and its kill vehicle are part of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD), the land-based element of the US Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) supposed to protect the continental USA from a limited number of intermediate- and long ballistic missile attacks, including ballistic missiles, such as the missiles North Korea is believed to be developing. Most of these long-range ground-based interceptors are based in Alaska, a small number of interceptors are also based at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., where the This 'Ground-based Midcourse—Defense Controlled Test Vehicle-02+' (GM CTV-02+) The mission also involved two forward based radars located in and near Hawaii.