Orbital ATK has launched a Patriot Target Vehicle (PTV) for the US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC).

Launched from Wake Island, Reagan Test Site (RTS), Kwajalein Island, the PTV served as an intercept target for the US Army Lower Tier Project Office (LTPO) PATRIOT air and missile defence system.

Orbital ATK Launch Vehicles Division vice-president and general manager Rich Straka said: “We are very pleased to support the Air Force and Army with a fifth successful target launch – it flew its planned sequence precisely as expected.

“We look forward to future tests with the PTV to continue supporting the readiness of the nation’s Patriot system.”

"The company took 19 months to develop the Janus PTV target vehicle and its re-entry vehicle."

The company took 19 months to develop the Janus PTV target vehicle and its re-entry vehicle. The development depended on flight-proven designs from other Orbital ATK launch programmes, such as the Medium Range Target, Targets and Critical Measurement Program, as well as the Operational Test Two vehicle.

Orbital ATK also produces target vehicles to support testing of the US Navy’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system, the Missile Defense Agency’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system (GMD), and the US Army’s THAAD system.

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The company produces the Coyote ramjet-powered supersonic naval target vehicle that is used to test the self-defence systems of US Navy ships.

Orbital ATK produces its missile defence interceptors and related target vehicles primarily at its engineering and manufacturing facility in Chandler, Arizona, US, and its vehicle assembly and integration facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, US, as well as Huntsville, Alabama, US.