Successful System Test Includes Intercept Over Pacific

The Ground-based
Midcourse Defense (GMD) program’s Integrated Flight Test was once
again a success — resulting in an intercept and complete destruction
of the incoming target.

The test, referred to as Integrated Flight Test 8, was conducted
March 15 and was the fourth system-level test of the program, incorporating
all major elements into the test scenario. The Boeing Company [NYSE:BA]
is the prime contractor for the GMD Program (formerly the National
Missile Defense Program).

GMD is currently a research and development program incorporating
extensive ground and flight tests to determine system performance
against long-range ballistic missile targets. With the March 15 test,
there have been four successful intercepts in six flight tests since
1999, with approximately 18 more scheduled to take place over the
next several years of the developmental test program. While there
has been no commitment to deploy the GMD technology, extensive testing
efforts are scheduled to take place under operationally realistic
conditions with the establishment of a new testbed in the central
and northern Pacific Ocean areas and with a new testbed complex planned
for Fort Greely, Alaska beginning in 2004.

Boeing, as prime contractor, is responsible for the development
and integration of the GMD components, including the Ground-Based
Interceptor, Ground-Based Radar Prototype, Battle Management, Command,
Control and Communication systems, Early Warning Radars and interfaces
to the Defense Support Program. Major team members include Raytheon
Company (kill vehicle, radars); TRW (BMC2); and Lockheed Martin Space
Systems, Missiles & Space Operations.

The intercept occurred over the Pacific Ocean. The flight-test sequence
began with a target vehicle launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base,
Calif. The Defense Support Program satellites detected the target
booster, equipped with a mock reentry vehicle and three decoys, and
the GMD Battle Management, Command, Control and Communications was
alerted. BMC3 cued ground-based radars that tracked the target complex
and provided more accurate target information to the BMC3. The BMC3
provided a weapon-tasking plan to the interceptor and gave the commands
leading to the launch of the interceptor vehicle from the Reagan Test
Site in the central Pacific Ocean.

Following booster separation, the BMC3 provided final target tracking
information to the kill vehicle through the In-Flight Interceptor
Communication System. The kill vehicle intercepted and destroyed the
target by hitting body-to-body at an altitude of approximately 140
miles and a closing speed in excess of 15,000 miles per hour.

The Joint Program Office of the Department of Defense Missile Defense
Agency directs the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program.

Boeing Space and Communications, headquartered in Seal Beach, Calif.,
is the world’s largest space and communications company. A unit of
The Boeing Company, S&C provides integrated solutions in launch
services, human space flight and exploration, missile defense, and
information and communications. It is NASA’s largest contractor; a
leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems
integrator for U.S. missile defense; and a leading provider of intelligence,
surveillance and reconnaissance. The global enterprise has customers
worldwide and manufacturing operations throughout the United States
and Australia.