On the OffenseJanuary 28, 2016
This afternoon from the spectacular vista view of the Ronald Reagan Memorial Missile Defense Viewing Site that MDAA created with Mrs. Nancy Reagan, we watched the launching of a new configured CE-II Ground Based Interceptor off the Pacific Coast of California. This operational realistic test against a C-17 air launched long range target ballistic missile in the middle of the Pacfic engaged the current United States missile defense architecture that is developed and deployed to defend the United States from a North Korean ballistic missile. The test involved another extremely valuable opportunity to make the entire system more reliable with focus on new engineering solutions to further enhance the exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV) making it more reliable.
This test provided a unique opportunity to acquire the correct target amongst a expanding threat cloud of debris and once acquired then break off the target and push the complete envelope of the new liquid fueled divert and altitude thrusters to their maximum capability in divert and distance covered. Acquiring scientific validity of these new technical limits of the interceptor is critical and provides the war fighter proven confidence of the ranges which the EKV can effectively operate in.
Upon entering space and separating its stages, a ballistic missile carries with it an expanding debris cloud from the expended hardware as well as possibly decoys and countermeasures in the cloud that can expand in miles over its time of flight. Having the range to cover the entire threat cloud is as critical as having the capability to discriminate amongst the debris for the EKV to detect and destroy the intended target.
In the circumstances we live in today with the heightened awareness and great concern of North Koreas actions, this test of our Ground Based Missile Defense System and the ground based interceptor could not have come at a better time to provide confidence to our public, reliability to the NORTHCOM commander and deterrence against North Korea.
Great appreciation goes out to the Missile Defense Agency and all those engineers and developers of ground based missile defense system for making our nation safer. It’s time to go on the offense with missile defense.