Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle
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Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) can refer to two related missile defense concepts:
- Most common: the Raytheon-manufactured interceptor component with subcontractor Aerojet of the U.S. Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD), part of the larger National Missile Defense system.
- Any exoatmospheric (outside the atmosphere) kinetic kill interceptor.
The Raytheon EKV is launched by the Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) missile, the launch vehicle of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System. The EKV's own rockets and fuel are for corrections in the trajectory, not for further acceleration.
An EKV is boosted to an intercept trajectory by a boost vehicle (missile), where it separates from the boost vehicle and autonomously collides with an incoming warhead. EKV devices appear in both ground and ship based missile defense systems.
Characteristics (of Raytheon's EKV)
- Weight: approx. 140 lb (64 kg)
- Length: 55 in (4 ft. 7 in.) (1.4 m)
- Diameter: 24 in (2 ft.) (0.6 m)
- Speed of projectile: roughly 10 km/s (22,000 mph)
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