Kinetic Energy Interceptor Successfully Completes First Wind Tunnel Test

Jun 15, 2005

TUCSON, June 15 (SPX) -- Raytheon recently completed the first in a series of risk-reduction high speed wind tunnel tests of the Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI) missile in preparation for future flight testing.
KEI is the Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) mobile, multi-mission, high- performance interceptor component of the layered Ballistic Missile Defense System, with Northrop Grumman Corporation serving as the prime contractor for the MDA - Kinetic Energy Directorate.

The testing focused on acquiring aerodynamic force and moment data, as well as high frequency pressure and acoustic data on the second stage vehicle.

A key part of the test was to obtain data to allow selection of a nose shape for the missile. The data was gathered at the Polysonic Wind Tunnel in St. Louis, Mo. All test objectives were achieved and results matched predictions.

"This type of early aerodynamic characterization of our design approach provides essential data and insight to anchor our analytical models and guide our design implementation. With this insight we are able to maximize performance while reducing program risk and enhancing our mission assurance," said Newton Johnson, Raytheon's KEI chief engineer.

"Characterization tests like these are critical to achieving the performance challenges of boost phase intercept. This test demonstrates both technical objectives and the Raytheon / Orbital Sciences team's commitment to development excellence and meeting customer expectations."

The test was conducted in March under the direction of Orbital Sciences Corporation, a primary partner with Raytheon on the KEI interceptor. Orbital was responsible for the test, including requirements development, model design, test support and data reduction.

(c) 2005 UPI

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