Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System

Overview

The Missile Defense Agency’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System (GMD) is a key element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System. The GMD employs integrated communications networks, fire control systems, globally deployed sensors, and Ground-Based Interceptors (GBIs) that are capable of detecting, tracking and destroying ballistic missile threats. The Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System provides Combatant Commanders the capability to engage and destroy intermediate- and long-range ballistic missile threats in space to protect the United States.

Our Role

Aerojet Rocketdyne supplies the liquid propellant Divert and Attitude Control System (DACS) that maneuvers the Raytheon-built EKV with the precision needed (often referred to as a “bullet hitting a bullet”) to successfully impact and destroy missile threats.

Alternate Propellant Tank (APT): Next generation design propellant tank for the EKV used on the GBI. This design update addressed producibility, material obsolescence, and cost related to the incumbent design.

Alternate Divert Thruster (ADT): Next generation divert thruster (main propulsion) for EKV used on the GBI. This design update addressed a platform stability and reliability concern as well as cost.

Key Features

The GBI is a multi-stage, solid fuel booster with an Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) payload that uses hit-to-kill technology to destroy incoming intermediate- and long-range ballistic missile threats against the United States and its allies.

A Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV) is currently in development. Features include a modular design and improved cost, producibility, testability, maintainability, survivability, and reliability.

GBIs are currently deployed at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. A total of 44 interceptors have been emplaced.