Northrop Grumman Supports Successful Flight Test for the Missile Defense Agency

Vandenberg, Calif. September 13, 2021 Photo(s): By Missile Defense Agency
Northrop Grumman supported the Missile Defense Agency's successful test of a long-range ground-based interceptor launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on September 12. This was the first flight test of a three-stage booster operating in two-stage mode. In this mode, the third stage was not ignited, allowing earlier release of the kill vehicle providing increased battlespace for the warfighter.

Northrop Grumman Corporation, under contract to Boeing, successfully completed a critical non-intercept flight test (BTV-03) of the Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The flight test successfully demonstrated company-developed software that enables upgraded booster capability and enhances America’s homeland defense.

“This flight test demonstrated a Northrop Grumman-designed upgrade that enables a new capability for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system,” said Scott Lehr, vice president and general manager, launch and missile systems defense, Northrop Grumman. “GMD is our nation’s only standing defense against rogue state long-range ballistic missiles, which is why we are committed to ensuring our country is always one step ahead of our adversaries.”

The GMD program is an element of the MDA’s Ballistic Missile Defense System. Its mission is to protect the United States by destroying intermediate- and long-range incoming ballistic missile threats in space. Northrop Grumman serves as a strategic partner to Boeing for the GMD program, providing the interceptor boost vehicle as well as the development, integration, operations and sustainment of the ground systems.

Northrop Grumman has provided critical elements of the GMD program for more than two decades. The company is also the leading provider of target vehicles to MDA, allowing U.S. missile defense systems to be operationally tested – validating their effectiveness in protecting our country, warfighters and allies.