Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris Technologies company, provided the Medium Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) target used in the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) successful test aimed at strengthening U.S. missile defense technologies. The test, designated as FTX-23, used two Aegis ships and the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex to perform target scene data collection of an MRBM with countermeasures. The test also included the firing of a Standard Missile-3 Block IIA (SM-3 Blk IIA) against the same medium range ballistic missile target, to verify additional functionality of the SM-3 Blk IIA.
“By providing a high-fidelity target our team helped ensure the MDA’s test program provided a realistic threat environment. The MRBM target and C-17 cargo aircraft launch system enable streamlined operations in remote locations worldwide, essential to highly-effective, missile defense system testing,” said Ross Niebergall, President, Aerojet Rocketdyne.
A medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) is a type of ballistic missile with medium range, this last classification depending on the standards of certain organizations. Within the U.S. Department of Defense, a medium-range missile is defined by having a maximum range of between 1,000 and 3,000 kilometres (620 and 1,860 mi). In modern terminology, MRBMs are part of the wider grouping of theatre ballistic missiles, which includes any ballistic missile with a range of less than 3,500 kilometres (2,200 mi).
MRBM Type 1 and Type 2 targets are designed, manufactured and launched by Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Coleman site. In addition to the actual target vehicle, Aerojet Rocketdyne provides integrated logistics support, including inventory storage and maintenance, pre- and post-mission analysis, launch preparation, launch execution and engineering services. The successful mission marks Aerojet Rocketdyne’s 38th launch in support of the U.S. missile defense program.