On February 25, the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) conducted a successful salvo test of its homeland missile defense system against an intercontinental ballistic missile threat.
Accrding to the agency, the lead Ground-Based Interceptors (GBI) destroyed the ICBM’s reentry vehicle “as it was designed to do.”
“This was the first GBI salvo intercept of a complex, threat-representative ICBM target, and it was a critical milestone,” MDA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves said in a statement.
The ICBM target was launched from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. This site is located over 6400 km away from the GBI interceptors buried in silos in the ground at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
“The system worked exactly as it was designed to do, and the results of this test provide evidence of the practicable use of the salvo doctrine within missile defense,” he said. “The Ground-based Midcourse Defense system is vitally important to the defense of our homeland, and this test demonstrates that we have a capable, credible deterrent against a very real threat.”
The GBI’s Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicles were successful in the test, according to the statement. Other systems involved in the test included space, ground and sea-based Ballistic Missile Defense System sensors, which provided tracking data to the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communication (C2BMC) system.
The MDA last tested the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System’s (GMD) GBIs against an ICBM target in May 2017. At that moment, the MDA’s director said the agency was next shooting to conduct a more complex salvo test involving two GBIs against an ICBM. The declared reason was that firing off two GBIs against one target was more operationally realistic and important in proving out the effectiveness of the overall system.