Pentagon Accelerates Work on Multi-Warhead Interceptor

Artist’s conception of the Multi-Object Kill Vehicle deploying to attack an incoming missile.


Officials won’t say it’s because of North Korea. But experts say Pyongyang’s planned ICBMs will almost certainly release decoys to cloak their nukes.

The Missile Defense Agency, or MDA, is accelerating the development of an interceptor that can take down several incoming warheads — or one warhead and several decoys — simultaneously. While MDA officials say the move is not a response to any specific threat, one prominent defense watcher notes that North Korea is likely working hard on missiles that can fire decoys to confuse interceptors.

The most recent Pentagon budget request seeks $259 million to move the Multi-Object Kill Vehicle, or MOKV, program into a new development phase — and speed up its projected completion by five years.

“We have accelerated MOKV risk reduction and product development phases to achieve a demonstrated capability in the 2025 timeframe,” said an MDA official in an email to Defense One.

MDA’s decision to accelerate the MKOV program is, in part, a vote of confidence in recent technological gains. On Tuesday, Boeing announced that MDA had awarded the company a $58 million, 35-month contract, to demonstrate their MOKV design.

“Our MOKV concept gives the Missile Defense Agency flexibility in eliminating threats more efficiently and affordably,” Paul Geery, a vice president of Boeing Phantom Works, said in a press release.

The MDA official said the acceleration decision is “not in response to any specific intelligence, but to stay ahead of potential future threats.”

MDA hopes to develop and test “command and control strategies in both digital and hardware,” in 2017, an agency official told Scout Warrior in February. 

Full article: Pentagon Accelerates Work on Multi-Warhead Interceptor (Defense One)

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