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Автор Тема:   Navy Restarts Theater Wide Missile Tests    (просмотров: 1)
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posted 7-2-2001 10:54    
The U.S. Navy restarted flight-testing of the Standard Missile SM-3 Theater Wide ballistic missile interceptor with a successful flight of the three-stage booster late Thursday.

The test, designated FTR-1A, was added to the flight-test program after the first launch in the Aegis Light-weight Exo-atmospheric Projectile Intercept series failed.

The Navy cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG-70) fired the SM-3 near the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii. The missile flew a guided trajectory to assess airframe stability and control through the point where the kill vehicle that rams the target separates. Testers launched a target to assess the performance of the Aegis radar system, but didn't attempt an intercept so the kill vehicle wasn't fitted with the divert and attitude control system it would need to guide it to the target. Most of the gathered telemetry is still being analyzed.

The Navy isn't planning to intercept a target until FTR-3, which should take place late this year unless the program encounters delay.

The flight test program has already slowed considerably from the aggressive schedule the Navy had laid out. At one point the Navy wanted to conduct seven flight tests within 15 months, but current plans call for a more moderate pace with only three tests this year.

Navy Theater Wide is being designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere. It is complemented by the Navy Area program, which is responsible for shooting down shorter range missiles within the atmosphere. The Theater Wide program is not scheduled to enter operational service until later this decade.

This week's test also critical for the Navy to keep alive its hopes of becoming a larger player in a national missile defense program. Navy officials have championed the Navy Theater Wide program as a stepping stone to a sea-based NMD system, but problems encountered early on threatened to undermine those efforts. By Robert Wall, 26-Jan-2001 3:34 PM U.S. EST

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