Ballistic Missile Targets

Ballistic Missile Targets  

Northrop Grumman designs and produces target launch vehicles used in the development and testing of missile defense systems. The company’s target launch vehicles include suborbital rockets and their principal subsystems, as well as payloads carried by such vehicles. Various branches and agencies of the U.S. military, including the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), use Northrop Grumman’s target launch vehicles as targets for defense-related applications such as ballistic missile interceptor testing and related experiments.

These rockets are programmed to simulate incoming enemy missiles, offering an affordable and reliable means to test advanced missile defense systems. Northrop Grumman’s family of target vehicles extends from long-range ballistic target launch vehicles, which include targets for testing MDA’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, to medium- and short-range target vehicles designed to simulate threats to U.S. and allied military forces deployed in overseas theaters. Current programs include:

  • IRBM - Air-launched Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile targets based on technologies from our proven Pegasus space launch vehicle
  • ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) - Ground-launched variant of our IRBM target to simulate long-range ICBM threats
  • Additional ballistic targets simulating medium and short-range threats

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