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Multiple Kill Vehicle (MKV)

O verview: The Multiple Kill Vehicle (MKV) system allows more than one kill vehi cle to b e launched from a single booster. The system consists of a carrier vehicle with on board sensors and a number of small, simple kill vehicles that can be independently cued against objects in a threat cluster. The integrated payload is designed to fit on existing and planned interceptor boosters.

Description: The MKV system includes a carrier vehicle with on-board sensors and kill vehicles weighing approximately 10 pounds.

Benefits to the BMD System:

  • Increases firepower, allowing multiple kill vehicles on a single target and reducing dependence on a priori target information
  • Increases mission flexibility
  • Works within existing/planned Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) System

Relevance: The MKV is consistent with MDA’s layered approach to BMD because it provides as many opportunities as possible to destroy an incoming missile. The system will enhance MDA’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense element.

Status: In early 2004, MDA awarded a system development contract to Lockheed Martin. A critical design review is scheduled for late 2004, hover tests in 2005/2006, flight tests begin in 2007. A test of the MKV was conducted December 2, 2008, at the National Hover Test Facility at Edwards Air Force Base, California. In April the 2009 project was terminated under the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

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