Meanwhile, planning continues for what MDA hopes will be the first successful GMD intercept test in more than five years. Though the test originally was planned as a repeat of the failed FTG-06 flight trail — the most complex to date — some officials are considering whether a more basic scenario is in order. “We need a success,” the defense source says.
FTG-06 pitted the new EKV CE-I in a head-on engagement against a sophisticated Lockheed Martin LV-2, which was emulating an advanced threat. The high closing velocities of a head-on engagement requires more precision and performance.
While MDA must redo that test, officials also are considering whether the agency should, once again, attempt to showcase the CE-I in a test that would present a lower risk and, possibly, restore confidence in the system.
Each GMD trial costs roughly $200 million. Agency Director Vice Adm. James Syring has said that once he gets GMD flying again, he hopes to test more regularly.