Ballistic Missile Targets
Aerojet Rocketdyne provides ballistic missile targets through its Aerojet Rocketdyne Coleman Aerospace (AR Coleman) subsidiary. An innovative systems engineering and integration provider, AR Coleman designs and produces sophisticated ballistic missiles as replicas of global missile defense threats. AR Coleman provides a variety of suborbital launch vehicles, payloads and launch services.
The majority of parts used by AR Coleman programs are assembled in-house at the company's own manufacturing facility. Capabilities range from the precision assembly of large missile structures, to telemetry, avionics, networks, cold gas control systems, flight termination control modules, advanced vehicle guidance systems, environmental stress screening, qualification and acceptance testing.
Ground Launch Targets
In 1992, the United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command awarded AR Coleman the Theater Missile Defense Targets contract to develop a ground launched target missile to test missile defense systems such as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and Patriot PAC-3. The two-stage HERA launch vehicle was powered by surplus SR19 and M57A1 solid rocket motors from the Minuteman II program. The target vehicles were launched from White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico and Fort Wingate, New Mexico.
Air Launch Targets
AR Coleman's air launch capability allows the launch of target missiles from cargo aircraft positioned anywhere in the world, and at any azimuth/orbit inclination to simulate a target with mobile launch capability. This capability allows target missiles to mimic a variety of realistic threat scenarios to thoroughly test U.S. missile defense technologies.
AR Coleman's Short Range Air Launch Target (SRALT) is a short range air launched target vehicle that supports tests of American anti-ballistic missile systems. The single stage vehicle that was first launched in 1999 is powered by surplus SR19 solid rocket motors from retired Minuteman II ICBMs.
The Long Range Air Launch Target (LRALT) is a two-stage launch vehicle AR Coleman developed for testing theater missile defense systems. Powered by two surplus SR19 solid rocket motors, the LRALT completed a demonstration launch in May 2004; followed by its first operational mission in September 2005.
The Extended Long Range Air Launch Target (E-LRALT) includes two SR-19 motors, an Orbus 1A motor and a reentry vehicle. It completed its first mission in October 2012 when it was air dropped from a C-17 cargo aircraft off Wake Island where it ignited and headed toward the Reagan Test Site at Kwajalein Atoll. The target was successfully destroyed by a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor launched from Meck Island at Kwajalein.
In February 2014, AR Coleman was awarded a contract from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to provide Medium-Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) target vehicles for use in tests of missile defense systems. Once operational, these target vehicles will enable MDA to continue to assess the performance of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense and THAAD systems.