Boeing, together with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), has successfully demonstrated an advanced interceptor capability for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, which defends the U.S. from rogue-state long-range intercontinental ballistic missile threats.
Tests included launching a Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) into space with a three-stage booster in two-stage mode, allowing the GBI to release the kill vehicle earlier in flight, providing an earlier opportunity to intercept and defeat a missile threat.
“The GMD system is reliable and ready if called upon to defend the nation,” said Debbie Barnett, Boeing GMD vice president, and program director. “For more than 20 years, Boeing has led the development, integration, and maintenance of this system. We’re proud to continue these efforts for the fielded GMD system to ensure the continued defense of the United States for years to come.”
The new GBI, launched from the Vandenberg Space Force base in California, provides operators with the real-time choice of utilizing a two-stage or three-stage interceptor, depending on the threat’s location and speed. The staging mode determines when the kill vehicle is released from the GBI.
The achievement will allow GBIs to be modernized and fielded with this critical capability as a part of the MDA’s Service Life Extension Program. According to Boeing officials, GMD provides the only capability to engage and defeat rogue-state long-range ballistic missile threats, offering continuous protection 24/7, 365 days a year.