Ballistic Missile Defense System test celebrated as a success

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – U.S. military officials are celebrating a successful test of the nation’s Ballistic Missile Defense System.

They’ll spend the next several months examining data collected from the test which took place Sunday over the Pacific Ocean.

Military authorities say this successful test shows the U.S. has the ability to intercept an intermediate-range missile, detonating it with nothing more than the force of impact.

The target, in this case, has a north Alabama connection.

It came out of the Lockheed Martin program in Huntsville and was produced in Courtland.

LV2 intermediate-range ballistic missile target. Photo provided by: Lockheed Martin.

LV2 intermediate-range ballistic missile target. Photo provided by: Lockheed Martin.

The type of target is 45-feet long and can travel 18-hundred to 34-hundred miles.

Crews launched the target from the Marshall Islands in the northern Pacific about halfway between Hawaii and Australia.

A long-range ground-based interceptor launched minutes later from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

A three-stage booster rocket system propelled the interceptor into space.

Soldiers from the 100th missile defense brigade handled the launch remotely from an Air Force base in Colorado.

Meanwhile, a crew aboard a navy destroyer detected and tracked the target.

The kill vehicle on the interceptor then maneuvered into position as planned and destroyed the missile on impact.

The military also has ground-based interceptors deployed at Fort Greely in Alaska in addition to Vandenberg Air Force Base.

5 comments

    • L

      The “success” was there was an actual TARGET that performed correctly, that would allow Boeing to prove GMD might work.

      • Joe B

        Every Target From Courtland has performed perfectly, it was GMD from Boeing that had some earlier issues.

  • L

    Well Joe B, I didn’t want to throw any of the subs that have caused problems under the bus. Sorry if you thought I was comparing Lockheed to Orbital. Last real success was probably FT4 in 2008. Watched that launch from Ronnie’s perch they built off El Rancho.

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