First line of defense against ballistic missiles
Kill vehicles destroy long-range ballistic missiles in space. Launched atop missiles, kill vehicles use sensors, lenses and rocket thrusters to pick out warheads and steer into their paths.
Raytheon has decades of experience building kill vehicles, along with the world’s premier laboratories, factories and workforce for these specialized weapon systems.
Raytheon is the only company in the world working on four different kill vehicle programs at the same time, and its experts are revolutionizing the role kill vehicles play in missile defense.
Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle
The Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV), pioneer of Raytheon’s kill vehicles, is the intercept component of the Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI). 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, Raytheon’s EKV stands ready to defend the U.S. against intercontinental ballistic missiles as a mission-critical component of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system.
If a threat is detected using one of GMD’s multiple land, sea- and space-based sensors, a GBI will be launched into space using a three-stage solid rocket booster. Once outside the Earth’s atmosphere, operating at the edge of space at hypersonic speeds, the kill vehicle’s job begins.
The EKV seeks out the target using multi-color sensors, a cutting-edge onboard computer and a rocket motor used only for steering in space. It hones in on its target, and with pinpoint precision, destroys it using nothing more than the force of a massive collision. No traditional warhead is needed.
The SM-3® interceptor is a defensive weapon used by the U.S. Navy to destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats. This “hit-to-kill” interceptor uses a kinetic warhead to collide with targets in space, far above population centers below. The SM-3 program is a critical piece of the Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense in Europe. The EKV and SM-3 vehicles have a combined record of 35 successful intercepts in space.
Redesigned Kill Vehicle
The RKV kill vehicle is the next-generation, cost-effective solution that will leverage mature, proven components to simplify design and improve reliability. From drawing board to deployment, Raytheon is the only company with the unique technical talent, proven success and infrastructure to deliver a simpler, easier-to-produce next generation kill vehicle with a significant reduction in cost.
Multi-Object Kill Vehicle
As part of a contract awarded in 2015, Raytheon is designing a fourth vehicle — called the MOKV kill vehicle, which will destroy several objects in space by using advanced sensor, guidance, propulsion and communication technologies.
Design work on the MOKV kill vehicle concept is underway at Raytheon's Advanced Missile Systems, an industry-leading technology and innovation hub. The company's kill vehicles are assembled in its world-class, one-of-a-kind Space Factory, which has been called a national asset.
This document does not contain Technical Data or Technology controlled under either the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations or the U.S. Export Administration Regulations. E16-VY9R
CTV-02 flight test
Ground-Based Interceptor flight test 06B