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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 within 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, along with 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 U.S. and its allies. The company is building upon this legacy of expertise to revolutionize the role that kill vehicles play in missile defense.

Raytheon’s Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle is deployed and operational today.
Raytheon’s Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle is deployed and operational today. (Download high resolution image)

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.

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

Standard Missile-3

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




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