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ABM | Boeing | Domestic Security | Forces - Strategic | Lockheed Martin | R&D - Contracted | Raytheon | Space | USA

Missile Defense Test Fizzles

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A much-touted test of the U.S. anti-missile shield failed yesterday when the kill vehicle failed to launch due to an unknown technical reason. The target missile launched successfully from Kodiak Island, Alaska about a quarter hour prior to the kill vehicle's failure. The $85 million test was the first test in two years for the $10 billion a year program. A successful hit would have allowed the U.S. Administration to consider deploying a rudimentary system based on the current technology. Michael Wynne, the Defense Departments head of procurement told reporters that, while the goal had been set to have something up and running by the end of this year, "I'm not constrained by timing, exactly." Of the eight tests run so far on the program, five of them have scored kills in highly scripted conditions. Boeing is the prime contractor, working with Northrop Grumman for battle management and Raytheon for the kill vehicle. Lockheed Martin and Orbital Sciences contribute booster rockets.

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