THAAD launch

L-3 Communications’ Coleman Aerospace business has secured a contract to provide medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) target vehicles to the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) for use in missile defence systems tests.

The competitively awarded contract has an initial value of $73m, and has additional options, which if exercised will bring the total value to over $400m over the next five years.

Under the contract, L-3 Coleman will develop and manufacture the MRBM targets, which are an essential part of MDA’s test plan to verify the effectiveness of its missile defence systems.

In addition, the company will provide integrated logistics support, including inventory storage and maintenance, pre- and post-mission analysis, launch preparation, launch execution and engineering services.

L-3 Electronic Systems Group president Steve Kantor said: ”This contract for target vehicles will enable MDA to continue to assess the performance of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense systems.”

Equipped with launchers, missiles, battle management/command, control, communications and intelligence (BMC3I) units and radars, THAAD missile system is designed to intercept and destroy short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles, using hit-to-kill technology.

The naval component of the MDA’s ballistic missile defense system, Aegis BMD has been designed to defeat short to intermediate-range, unitary and separating, midcourse-phase ballistic missile threats using the standard missile-3 (SM-3).

"L-3 Coleman has successfully air launched single-stage, two-stage and three-stage targets for MDA, since 1999."

The number of MRBM target vehicles ordered under the contract and delivery schedule remain undisclosed.

L-3 Coleman has successfully air launched single-stage, two-stage and three-stage targets for MDA, since 1999.

The company has also demonstrated its extended long-range air launched target (E-LRALT) in the FTI-01 integrated live-fire demonstration over the Pacific Ocean in October 2012.

Image: The MRBM targets supplied by L-3 will be used to assess the performance of terminal high altitude area defense system. Photo: courtesy of National Missile Defense.

Defence Technology