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Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV)

Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV)

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).

A Ground-based Interceptor roars into the sky carrying a Raytheon-built Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle on June 22, 2014. The kill vehicle destroyed a simulated ballistic missile high over the Pacific Ocean. (Missile Defense Agency photo)
A Ground-based Interceptor roars into the sky carrying a Raytheon-built Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle on June 22, 2014. The kill vehicle destroyed a simulated ballistic missile high over the Pacific Ocean. (Missile Defense Agency photo) (Download high resolution image)

If a threat is detected using one of GMD’s multiple land, sea- and space-based sensors, a Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) 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 needed.

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

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Feature Stories

"Kill Vehicles" are all about protection

Raytheon's missile defense leadership honored

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

Charting a course in missile defense

Inside the Space Factory

“Spearhead” of U.S. missile defense system passes test

Photo Gallery

EKV Photo Gallery Launch Gallery

Infographic

Kill Vehicle Infographic Launch Infographic

Media Coverage

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

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

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