A Lockheed Martin prototype of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s extended medium-range ballistic missile target has been successfully tested at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, the company said Monday.
The eMRBM target was released from an Air Force C-17 aircraft at great than 25,000 feet of altitude during the air launch, Lockheed said.
According to the company, the system deployed parachutes after release and detached itself from the carriage extraction system.
MDA and Lockheed wanted to validate the air-launch and extractor systems as they prepare for the eMRBM missile target’s maiden flight later this year.
“This new target is designed to provide the threat realism that is essential to ensuring that missile defense systems are developed against accurate representations of the systems they would likely encounter in an operational environment,” said John Holly, Lockheed’s vice president of missile defense systems and deputy for strategic and missile defense systems.
Lockheed is developing 17 missile targets, including five eMRBM systems, under a prime contract for MDA’s targets and countermeasures program.
The company has launched 27 missile targets for ballistic missile defense system testing since the contract was awarded in 2003.