Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle
Origin: United States of America
Parent System: EKV
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2004
Total Production: 20
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Description: The Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EVK) is being designed to meet the requirements of Ground Midcourse Defense against incoming ballistic missiles for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). EKV consists of infrared seeker in a flight package used to detect and discriminate the reentry vehicle (incoming ballistic missile's warhead) from potential decoys and objects. EKV's "hit-to-kill" concept involves colliding with the reentry vehicle to completely pulverize it.
In addition, the EKV has its own propulsion system, communication link, discrimination algorithms, guidance and control system and computers to support target selection and intercept decisions in the final seconds of its flight.
The EKV is integrated with a booster rocket motor. The rocket booster motor allows to reach the incoming missile's midcourse area giving to the EKV the required speed and altitude (about 8,000 kilometers per hour at altitudes of 230 kilometers) to make possible the reentry vehicle interception. According to current plans, the EKV could be operational in 2004.
On August 17, 2004, Raytheon delivered the first EKV to the MDA at the Missile Defense Kinetic Kill Vehicle production facility in Tucson, Arizona. Up to 20 EKVs will be required to arm the initial GMD program interceptors at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
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