By Tereza Pultarova
The US Missile Defense Agency should consider redesigning a key part of its ground-based missile defence system following a series of test failures, a new report has said.
The report by Pentagon’s chief arms tester has reviewed glitches that occurred during the system’s testing over the past three years, including a failed intercept test last July. The system is jointly built by Boeing, Raytheon and Orbital Sciences. While Boeing is responsible for the long-range missile threat defence, Raytheon and Orbital Sciences are working on the interceptors and rockets used by the system – the part proved to be most prone to failures.
“The flight test failures … raise questions regarding the robustness of the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV),” said the report, referring to the Raytheon-built part of the rocket used to hit enemy missiles and destroy them on impact.
Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation (DOT&E), proposed the agency performed the failed intercept test again and considered whether to redesign the “kill vehicle” to secure it against failure.
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