Old video of the testing at Vandenberg Air Force Base
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has completed an integrated exercise of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the nation’s Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) that scored the GMD system’s first successful intercept since 2008.During the June 22 test, a long-range ground-based interceptor launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and intercepted an intermediate-range ballistic missile target launched from the U.S. Army’s Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
The test, designated Flight Test Ground-Based Interceptor-06b (FTG-06b), will provide the data necessary to assess the performance of numerous BMDS elements for homeland defense.Also participating in the test was the U.S. Air Force 30th Space Wing, the Joint Functional Component Command, Integrated Missile Defense, U.S. Northern Command and the U.S. Navy.
Navy Vice Adm. James D. Syring, MDA director, says, "This is a very important step in our continuing efforts to improve and increase the reliability of our homeland ballistic missile defense system. We’ll continue efforts to ensure our deployed ground-based Interceptors and our overall homeland defensive architecture continue to provide the warfighter an effective and dependable system to defend the country."
For this exercise, a threat-representative, intermediate-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Reagan Test Site. The Navy destroyer DDG 70 USS Hopper, with its Aegis combat system, detected and tracked the target using its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar, which provided data to the GMD fire control system via the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communication (C2BMC) system. The Sea-Based X-Band radar also tracked the target, and relayed information to the GMD fire control system to assist in the target engagement and collect test data.
About six minutes after target launch, the Ground-Based Interceptor was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base. A three-stage booster rocket system propelled the interceptor’s Capability Enhancement II EKV into the target missile’s projected trajectory in space. The kill vehicle maneuvered to the target, performed discrimination, and intercepted the threat warhead with "hit to kill" technology, using only the force of the direct collision to destroy the target warhead. This was the first intercept using the second- generation Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle.