MDA Demonstrates Air-Launched Target

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The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully completed a July 8 flight test of the Short Range Air Launched Target (SRALT) 800 kilometers off the Southern California coast, the agency announced July 11.

The flight test, designated FTX-17, demonstrated an upgraded air launch and umbilical pull separation system that had been redesigned to correct problems identified in previous testing, an MDA press release said. Under command of the Naval Air Warfare Center at Point Mugu Sea Range, Calif., an Air Force C-17 transport aircraft deployed the SRALT, which ignited and followed its planned trajectory. The target was successfully tracked by two missile defense radars at separate California locations, as well as by the two Space Tracking and Surveillance System demonstration satellites on orbit, the press release said.