‘Exoatmospheric kill vehicle’ designed to crash into nuclear missiles heading for the US tested over California
- Long-range interceptor blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base
- Was testing thrusters on the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle
- Craft designed to crash into enemy missiles and destroy them
- Later this year will try to destroy an intercontinental ballistic missile
A missile defense rocket designed to smash incoming missiles out of the sky has been successfully launched from a military base in Central California.
Authorities say a long-range interceptor blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The launch was testing thrusters on the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, which is designed to crash into enemy missiles and destroy them.
Officials said a target representing a missile was launched from an Air Force plane over the Pacific Ocean west of Hawaii.
The Vandenberg interceptor released the kill vehicle, which was maneuvered with thrusters until its fuel was used up.
It purposely didn’t intercept the target.
The test involved the ground-based midcourse defense system.
The missile shield system is supposed to protect America from attacks, but it has failed to hit targets in many tests.
Later this year, an interceptor will try to destroy an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) target armed with countermeasures for the first time.
A year later, MDA will launch two interceptors against a single ICBM.
In 2018, MDA will conduct the first flight, a non-intercept test, of a redesigned version of the interceptor’s exo-atmospheric kill vehicle.
Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are working on different parts of the redesign. MDA wants to improve the reliability of the kill vehicle, which destroys an incoming warhead by colliding with it.
And in a 2019 test, an interceptor with the
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