By: Jen Judson and John Liang
June 16, 2014
The troubled Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System program will “shortly” undertake an intercept test of its Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, according to the Pentagon’s director of missile defense policy.
The intercept test will guide the Missile Defense Agency in deciding whether to focus on improving the current variant of the homeland defense system’s Ground-Based Interceptor — the Capability Enhancement-II version — or pursue a redesign of the EKV, Peppino DeBiaso said during a June 3 Brookings Institute panel discussion.
“We will await the outcome of the test and see,” DeBiaso stated. A variety of factors will be assessed in deciding “whether it results in the department vectoring in terms of doing more with the CE-II or moving in a direction more aggressively with the EKV redesign,” he said.
Regardless of the outcome, DeBiaso said, “the notion that we would have a particular test failure, that we would walk away from that mission is, of course, ridiculous.”
The test is expected in June, but a date has not been revealed. In accordance with international law, DOD is required to issue a public notice five to seven days before the test. A notification has yet to be posted publicly.
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