Concept for multi-object kill vehicle has begun at Lockheed Martin facility

SUNNYVALE, Calif. Lockheed Martin has begun to work on developing a concept of a Multi-Object Kill Vehicle missile defense system under a $9.7 million contract with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. The work will primarily be performed in Sunnyvale, Calif., but the company’s engineers in Huntsville, Ala. will also contribute to the project.

Lockheed Martin engineers will develop a system for use on the interceptors used by the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the nation’s ballistic missile defense system. They will also consider advanced sensor, communication and divert-and-attitude control technologies as well as approaches, and will identify methods for reducing technical risks.

According to company officials a kill vehicle can destroy an incoming missile before it reaches its destination. A system like this could prevent an attack involving a single missile that releases a group of objects including the warhead plus decoys.

“We will devise and explore the most effective solutions for destroying more than one warhead with a single interceptor, an important step in changing the cost curve for missile defense engagement,” says Doug Graham, vice president of missile systems and advanced programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems.