27 January 2013, 12:40

US tests upgraded missile interceptor

US tests upgraded missile interceptor

The United States has successfully launched a missile interceptor on a test flight from the central Californian coast, the Missile Defense Agency reports. The Ground-Based Interceptor rocket completed a series of pre-programmed maneuvers when it reached space after being launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base. There was no target involved in the test, but the final stage of the program is to develop an anti-ballistic missile system.

Pentagon to test upgraded air-defence interceptor

On Sunday the Pentagon will test a modernized air-defence interceptor launched from a silo in California, the Missile Defence Agency (MDA) of the US Department of Defence reports.

The aim is to test the performance of the combat stage in which the navigation system has been updated, an MDA representative said.

The launch of the interceptor missile will be carried out from a silo at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The test is part of the programme of developing the US system of ground-based midcourse defence.

An updated combat stage, which is an exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV), will be installed on a three-stage missile.

The missile has no aim of intercepting a training target. The main aim is a flight trial for the updated interceptor missile and the improvement of the air defence ground-based segment.

In 2011 the MDA suspended purchasing EKV interceptor missiles following two failures of tests in 2010. Due to problems with the navigation system that sprang up during flights in space the interceptors failed to hit training targets. Only eight tests proved to be a success.

According to the MDA, if the tests of anti-missiles with an updated EKV combat stage which begin now and will last until spring are a success the manufacturing of these missiles will be resumed.

Primary-version anti-missiles are installed in silos in Alaska and California.

The main aim of EKV interceptors is the warheads of the enemy’s intercontinental ballistic missiles before their return to the atmosphere. An EKV interceptor destroys its target using kinetic energy. This combat stage is equipped with an infra-red homing head for discovering and recognizing the target among decoy installations.

The interceptor is also equipped with its own engine, control unit and communication box, as well as a mission computer with a scheduled scheme of situation assessment and decision-making to intercept the target a few seconds before hitting it.

Voice of Russia, RT, Interfax

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