US-based rocket and missile propulsion manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully completed hot fire altitude testing on the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV) propulsion system.
Testing on the Divert and Attitude Control System (DACS) Center Manifold has been carried out in collaboration with Boeing and the US MDA.
The test on Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Center Manifold technology was conducted at a simulated altitude outside the Earth’s atmosphere at the White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico, US.
The RKV programme is a major part of the ground-based midcourse defence (GMD) element of the MDA’s ballistic missile defence system.
Aerojet Rocketdyne Defense senior vice-president Mo Khan said: “Completion of this DACS Center Manifold testing is a significant milestone for our GMD RKV DACS programme, and a major step forward to the critical design review for this state-of-the-art propulsion technology.”
The company is currently under contract with Boeing for the development and initial production of the RKVs, with the DACS units being manufactured at its Los Angeles facility.
GMD provides Combatant Commanders with the capability to engage and address intermediate and intercontinental ballistic missile threats in space in order to protect the US.
Aerojet Rocketdyne president and chief executive officer Eileen Drake said: “We’re extremely proud of our RKV team and our missile defence product lines, and the pinpoint accuracy our systems provide warfighters in defending the US and its allies.”
The RKV helps enhance the vehicle’s reliability while reducing unit cost, improving maintenance in the field, and enhancing performance against emerging threats.