Press Release

Two Lockheed Martin rockets successfully launchedin support of missile defense test

By SpaceRef Editor
July 14, 2001
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Two Lockheed Martin
rockets were successfully launched today within minutes of each other, but
4,800 miles apart. These launches comprised the sixth such Integrated Flight
Test, completing mission requirements that support the Ballistic Missile
Defense Organization’s (BMDO) Ground-based Midcourse Defense Segment (BMDS)
program. A Multi-Service Launch System (MSLS) rocket, launched by the Air
Force, lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 7:40 p.m. PDT
carrying a suite of targets. A Payload Launch Vehicle (PLV) lifted off from
the Kwajalein Missile Range, Republic of the Marshall Islands, in the
Pacific approximately 21 minutes later carrying an Exo-Atmospheric Kill
Vehicle (EKV) that acquired, tracked and discriminated between the targets
and then destroyed the primary target.

The MSLS is based on a refurbished, three-stage Minuteman II
intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a new front section. Lockheed
Martin Space Systems Company designed and built the new front section and
associated flight hardware for the MSLS and provides launch services under
contract to the U.S. Air Force Rocket Systems Launch Program, Space &
Missile Systems Center, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. There have been
seven MSLS flights, all successful.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company also is responsible for the PLV, under
contract to Boeing, the GMDS prime contractor. The PLV is based on a
refurbished, two-stage Minuteman II ICBM with a new front section. The PLV
is serving as the surrogate Ground-Based Interceptor during the ongoing GMDS
flight-test program. The company provides an Upper Stage Assembly (USA) that
serves as the interface between the EKV and the Minuteman booster, as well
as provides all the PLV avionics. The company is also responsible for
payload and mission integration, as well as launch services. During the
flight test, the PLV is responsible for delivering the EKV payload to a
point in space at a designated time. Today’s MSLS mission successfully
deployed two inert targets, while the PLV successfully deployed the EKV.

“The completion of these crucial tests requires the work of an extraordinary
team,” said Albert E. Smith, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Space
Systems Company. “Lockheed Martin is proud to be a member of this team along
with the BMDO, Air Force and the GMDS industry team led by Boeing.”

The MSLS is designed to launch a variety of ballistic experiments, like the
one launched today, carrying payloads weighing up to 1,450 pounds as far as
4,200 miles downrange. This was the eighth MSLS flight; all eight were
launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The first, a demonstration
flight, was launched Sept. 27, 1996. The last six flights were part of tests
similar to the one carried out today, and were launched January 16, 1997;
June 23, 1997; Jan. 15, 1998; Oct. 2, 1999; Jan. 18, 2000; and July 7, 2000.

The PLV traces its heritage through the successful Homing Overlay Experiment
(HOE) and Exo-Atmospheric Reentry Interceptor Subsystem (ERIS) programs. The
PLV has been used on all six of the GMDS Integrated Flight Tests, and is
currently planned for use through Integrated Flight Test-13.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, headquartered in Denver, Colo., is
one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space
Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates of a variety of
advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers.
Chief products include a full-range of space launch systems, ground systems,
remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government
customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet
ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global enterprise
principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and
integration of advanced-technology systems, products and services. The
Corporation’s core businesses are systems integration, space, aeronautics,
and technology services. Employing more than 140,000 people worldwide,
Lockheed Martin had 2000 sales surpassing $25 billion.

SpaceRef staff editor.