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Kill Vehicle

Kill Vehicles

First line of defense against ballistic missiles

The emerging threat of long-range ballistic missiles demands a new engagement paradigm – one that Raytheon fully supports with its breadth and depth of missile defense capability.

By leveraging decades of experience across several kill vehicle programs and vast tactical weapon expertise across every domain and mission area, we’re meeting the critical needs of today and planning for the threats of tomorrow.

Raytheon is the only company working simultaneously on four kill vehicles, providing a pipeline of crucial lessons learned and laboratories and factories teeming with experts whose knowledge is irreplaceable. Pioneering the nation’s early kinetic warhead development provided Raytheon the expertise to evolve the way kill vehicles are produced, tested, deployed, and ultimately how they perform to defend the United States and its allies. The company is building upon this legacy of expertise to revolutionize the role that kill vehicles play in missile defense.

Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV)

The Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV), the 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 Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) stands ready to defend the United States against intercontinental ballistic missiles as a mission-critical component of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system (GMD).

If a threat is detected using one of GMD’s multiple land, sea- and space-based sensors, a Ground-Based Interceptor will be launched into space using a three-stage solid rocket booster. Once outside of the Earth’s atmosphere, operating at the edge of space at hypersonic speeds, the EKV’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.

Raytheon's Exoatomospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) is the intercept component of the Ground Based Interceptor (GBI)
Raytheon's Exoatomospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) is the intercept component of the Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) (Download high resolution image)

Standard Missile-3 (SM-3)

Standard-Missile 3 (SM-3®) is a defensive weapon used by the U.S. Navy to destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats. This “hit-to-kill” missile 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 United States' Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense in Europe. The EKV and SM-3 vehicles have a combined record of 35 successful intercepts in space.

The SM-3’s exoatmospheric vehicle collides with its target to obliterate the threat without the need for explosives. The resulting impact is the equivalent of a 10-ton truck traveling at 600 mph.
The SM-3’s exoatmospheric vehicle collides with its target to obliterate the threat without the need for explosives. The resulting impact is the equivalent to a 10-ton truck traveling at 600 mph. (Download high resolution image)

Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV)

The Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV) 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 (MOKV)

As part of a contract awarded in August 2015, Raytheon is designing a fourth kill vehicle — called Multi-Object Kill Vehicle (MOKV), which will destroy several objects in space by using advanced sensor, guidance, propulsion and communication technologies.

Design work on the MOKV concept is under way in the company's Advanced Missile System's product line, an industry-leading technology and innovation hub. Raytheon kill vehicles are assembled in the company's world-class, one-of-a-kind Space Factory, which has been called a national asset.




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Feature Stories

From land or by sea

SM-3 interceptor tested off European coast for first time

Raytheon completes $9.2 million Space Factory expansion

The Warhead Hunters

U.S. Navy test doubles defense to meet modern missile threats

Missile-destroying Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle intercepts target

Inside the Space Factory

Photo Gallery

KV Photo Gallery Launch Gallery


CTV-02 Flight TestPlay Video

CTV-02 Flight Test

EKV VideoPlay Video

The Missile Defense Agency's Flight Test 06b Ground-Based Interceptor launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on June 22, 2014.

Media Coverage

The Ground-based Midcourse Defense System: Myths and facts (Real Clear Defense)

A missile plant gets an IoT makeover (IndustryWeek)

Inside the factory where Raytheon's robots make kamikaze spacecraft (Popular Mechanics)

Raytheon, MDA test new thruster for EKV missile (UPI)

U.S. says redesigned missile defense interceptor aces test (Reuters)

U.S. missile shield to undergo tests (Examiner)

New U.S. kill vehicle will fly in 2018, take on its first target in 2019 (Space News)

Pentagon develops new missile defense interceptor able to destroy multiple threats (Scout)

Raytheon shares insights on the emerging U.S. Multi-Object Kill Vehicle programme (Military Technology)

SM-3 interceptor tested for first time off European coast (Seapower)

VIDEO: Navy leads 9-nation ballistic missile defense test (Scout)

U.S. Navy, allies intercept targets in European missile test (Reuters)

Raytheon to work on multi-warhead interceptor (Arizona Daily Star)

Guided missiles: Arizona's most high-tech company (The Arizona Republic)

House mark on redesigned Kill Vehicle has MDA concerned (Space News)

U.S. military driving towards effective ballistic and cruise missile defenses (Lexington Institute)

U.S. Aegis system zaps cruise, ballistic missile targets in test (Reuters)

Critical flight-test success buoys Raytheon missile killer (Arizona Daily Star)

Raytheon to resume production of warhead after successful test (Reuters)

Missile defense sites to protect the east coast (The Daily Signal)

Missile defense request could include funds for EKV alternative (Space News)

Missile Defense Agency successfully tests 'kill vehicle' to block ICBMs (FOX News)

News Releases

Raytheon kill vehicle succeeds in developmental flight test

Land-Based SM-3 demonstrates first ballistic missile intercept supported by AN/TPY-2 radar

Raytheon receives $543 million for SM-3 Block IIA production and delivery

U.S. succeeds in next flight test of advanced missile defense interceptor

Missile Defense Agency awards Raytheon study contract for Multi-Object Kill Vehicle concept

U.S. begins flight testing advanced missile defense interceptor

SM-3, SM-2s take on ballistic, cruise missile targets during simulated missile 'raid' attack exercise

Raytheon kill vehicle destroys complex, long-range ballistic missile target in space

Enhanced Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle successful in non-intercept flight test