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  • VIDEO: MDA's Two-Stage GBI Flies
    Posted by Graham Warwick 7:37 PM on Jun 07, 2010

    A faster-reacting two-stage version of the US Missile Defense Agency's ground-based interceptor (GBI), originally conceived for the European missile defense shield, was flight tested from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., on June 6.

    Video: MDA

    Although the US has abandoned its proposal to install 10 GBIs in Poland in favor of a "phased, adaptive approach" built around land- and sea-based Standard SM-3 missiles, the MDA is continuing to fund development of the two-stage GBI to keep its options open.

    blog post photo
    Photo: MDA

    The interceptors now in the ground in Alaska and California have three stages, and removing the third stage reduces burn time and accommodates shorter engagement timelines. Orbital Sciences, which produces the interceptors for Ground-based Missile Defense system prime Boeing, says having two- and three-stage GBIs will provide the MDA with more flexibility in addressing emerging threats.

    The interceptor used in Sunday's Booster Vertification Test-1 flight delivered an exoatmospheric kill vehicle into space, but the flight did not involve a target missile. A second test flight including an interception is planned.

    Tags: ar99, MDA, GMD

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