The Kinetic Energy Interceptor
) was a planned U.S. missile defense
Missile defense is a system, weapon, or technology involved in the detection, tracking, interception and destruction of attacking missiles. Originally conceived as a defence against nuclear-armed Intercontinental ballistic missiles , its application has broadened to include shorter-ranged...
program whose goal was to design, develop, and deploy kinetic energy
The kinetic energy of an object is the energy which it possesses due to its motion.It is defined as the work needed to accelerate a body of a given mass from rest to its stated velocity. Having gained this energy during its acceleration, the body maintains this kinetic energy unless its speed changes...
-based, mobile, ground and sea-launched missiles that could intercept and destroy enemy ballistic missiles during their boost, ascent and midcourse phases of flight. The KEI consisted of the Interceptor Component (kinetic projectile), the Mobile Launcher Component, and the Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) component.
On May 7, 2009, KEI program was canceled due primarily to financial reasons.
First stage rocket motor tests
There were five first stage rocket motor tests planned to be carried out by Alliant Techsystems (ATK) in Promontory, Utah.
The second test firing of a KEI first stage rocket motor was conducted on June 14, 2007. The static firing included a full duration burn and a demonstration of the thrust vector control nozzle.
The fourth test firing of the first stage rocket motor was completed on November 13, 2008. The test demonstrated a successful operation of the first stage rocket motor in its final flight configuration that was to be used during a Summer 2009 flight test. Due to the cancellation of KEI in May 2009, this test did not occur.
Some KEI program implementation and funding history
On May 7, 2009, Missile Defense Agency
The Missile Defense Agency is the section of the United States government's Department of Defense responsible for developing a layered defense against ballistic missiles. The agency has its origins in the Strategic Defense Initiative, which was established in 1983 and was headed by Lt...
executive director David Altwegg announced that KEI would be canceled due to technical and financial reasons. The announcement to kill KEI had previously been overlooked during Defense Secretary Robert Gates
Dr. Robert Michael Gates is a retired civil servant and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W....
' April 6 press conference on changing priorities in the FY10 defense budget. In an email of October 21, 2009 Senator Dianne Feinstein announced to her constituency that about $40 Million had been added to "the Senate… version of the fiscal year 2010 Defense Appropriations bill".