SUNNYVALE, Calif. , Aug. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) announced today that its team has successfully completed testing of a key propulsion system component for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's Multiple Kill Vehicle-L (MKV-L) payload. The divert thruster -- a component of the MKV-L carrier vehicle's divert and attitude control subsystem -- met performance requirements in a series of static, hot-fire tests at the White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, N.M.
During an engagement with the enemy, this high-performance propulsion system maneuvers the carrier vehicle and its cargo of kill vehicles into the threat complex to intercept the targets. With tracking data from the Ballistic Missile Defense System and its own seeker, the carrier vehicle dispenses and guides the kill vehicles to destroy targets in the complex.
"This accomplishment shows our continued progress in developing the critical capabilities for the Multiple Kill Vehicle-L payload," said Rick Reginato , Multiple Kill Vehicle program director, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.
Next, a hover test of the entire propulsion system for the carrier vehicle will be conducted at the National Hover Test Facility, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. In this controlled flight test, the divert and attitude control system subsystem for the carrier vehicle, which includes the thrusters, will be integrated with the guidance and control hardware subsystem.
"Completing successful testing of the thruster enables the team to proceed with the planned hover test, a key performance event in payload development," said Randy Riley , MKV Hover Test Vehicle program director, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.
The MKV-L Hover Test Vehicle development team for the Missile Defense Agency includes: Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif. , prime contractor for the Multiple Kill Vehicle-L payload system; Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Canoga Park, Calif. , a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company, and Octant Technologies Inc., San Jose, Calif.
The Missile Defense Agency's Multiple Kill Vehicle is a force multiplier for all of the land- and sea-based weapons of the integrated midcourse missile defense system. In the event of an enemy launch, a single interceptor equipped with this payload destroys not only the re-entry vehicle but also all credible threat objects, including countermeasures the enemy deploys to try to spoof our defenses. This many-on-many strategy eliminates the need for extensive pre-launch intelligence while leveraging the Ballistic Missile Defense System's discrimination capability, ensuring a robust and affordable solution to emerging threats. Developing, testing and deploying a layered Ballistic Missile Defense System for the U.S. homeland, its deployed forces, friends and allies is essential for protecting against ballistic missiles of all ranges in all phases of flight.
Lockheed Martin is a world leader in systems integration and the development of air and missile defense systems and technologies, including the first operational hit-to-kill missile. It also has considerable experience in missile design and production, infrared seekers, command and control/battle management, and communications, precision pointing and tracking optics, as well as radar and signal processing. The company makes significant contributions to nearly all major U.S. missile defense systems and participates in several global missile defense partnerships.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md. , Lockheed Martin is a global security
company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged
in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment
of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation
reported 2007 sales of
SOURCE Lockheed Martin