Orbital Sciences Corporation has successfully launched a medium-range target (MRT-2) vehicle on June 22 under the Lockheed Martin targets and countermeasures prime contract with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. The MRT-2 vehicle served as an intercept target for the Navy’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system and was launched from the Pacific missile range facility on Kauai, Hawaii. The target vehicle flew a trajectory northwest of Kauai and was intercepted by the Navy’s standard missile (SM-3) interceptor system before re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
The MRT-2 was the second of several medium-range targets Orbital is prepared to launch under contract to Lockheed Martin in support of the Aegis BMD test program. The MRT target is also part of Lockheed Martin’s flexible target family, currently under development for responsive and cost-effective missile defense system testing.
Orbital originally developed the MRT multiple-launch-mode target vehicle under contract to the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, according to specifications that require launch capability from ground, air or sea, a broad range of ballistic trajectories, and integration of flexible hardware and software designs.