The Missile Defense Agency announced today the successful completion of an important test of the first stage rocket motor of the new Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI), a high-speed, three-stage interceptor system designed to destroy hostile ballistic missiles.
The static test firing, conducted at the Alliant Techsystems Inc. facility in Promontory, Utah, included the successful ignition of the rocket motor, a full-duration “burn,” and demonstrated the performance of the motor assembly and thrust vector control nozzle for what will be a very high-acceleration, high-velocity and extremely maneuverable interceptor missile.
This was the second of five planned first stage rocket motor ground tests.
Following continued developmental tests of rocket motor stages and interceptor equipment, the Kinetic Energy Interceptor plans to conduct its first flight test in 2008.
Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the KEI program.