01 September 2006

Boola, boola ... Successful Missile Defense test

As a former Hawkeye kind of guy, missile shoots were always one of the more fun things to participate in, especially when the target gets nailed and blown to smithereens (destruction of the target characterized w/voice call: "boola-boola"). 'twas fun in uniform and (despite all the surrounding angst in the run-up) it still is post-uniform. Especially when the target and interceptor missile are exo-atmosphereic and winging towards each other blindingly fast.

Today's test consisted of the launch of an operationally-configured ground-based interceptor (GBI) from Vandenberg AFB against a target ballistic missile launched from Kodiak, Alaska. This was a complex test of several new elements of the NMD, including the Upgraded Early Warning Radar at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., to acquire, track and report the target warhead, and also to assess the performance of the interceptor missile’s rocket motor system and exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV), which is the component that collides directly with a target warhead in space to perform a “hit to kill” intercept using only the force of the collision to totally destroy the target warhead. By all indications it looks like it was a resounding success including intercept of the warhead by the EKV.
Oh, and gthe best part? Don't have to go in to work on the weekend now...

(Beale UEWR)