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Part of Pegasus Family
Taurus - COSPAR 1994-017
American anti-ballistic missile. Suborbital booster for the US Missile Defense Agency's Ground-based Midcourse Defense system's EKV ballistic missile kill vehicle. The basic OBV consisted of the upper three stages and guidance system from the Taurus orbital launch vehicle (essentially a wingless Pegasus-XL). The OBV was launched from an open pad; the operational version was to be silo-launched.

AKA: GMD boost vehicle;OBV;Orbital Boost Vehicle;Taurus-Lite. Status: Active. First Launch: 2003-02-06. Last Launch: 2016-01-28. Number: 15 . Thrust: 441.00 kN (99,140 lbf). Gross mass: 22,700 kg (50,000 lb). Height: 16.80 m (55.10 ft). Diameter: 1.27 m (4.16 ft). Span: 1.27 m (4.16 ft). Apogee: 2,000 km (1,200 mi).

Orbital Sciences Corporation was selected by The Boeing Company in December 2001 to design, develop and test a boost vehicle for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program. It was one of two sources selected, the other being Lockheed with its Boost Vehicle Plus (BV-Plus). The GMD System was a key element of the layered architecture of MDA's Ballistic Missile Defense System for defending the United States, its Armed Forces overseas and its allies against limited ballistic missile attacks.

GMD began advanced development in 1998 with a $1.6 billion contract to Boeing. The GMD system was based on technologies pioneered by MDA in the 1980's and 1990's. By 2004 the research and development program had conducted several ground and flight tests to verify system performance against long-range ballistic missile targets. Boeing, as the prime contractor, was responsible for the development, test and integration of all the GMD elements, including Ground Based Interceptor (GBI), X-Band Radar Prototype, Battle Management, Command, Control and Communications systems, Upgraded Early Warning Radars and interfaces to the Defense Support Program.

The GMD System was designed to intercept and destroy hostile ballistic missiles during their midcourse phase of flight, before their reentry into the Earth's atmosphere. The GMD 64-kg Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) employed "hit-to-kill" technology to detect, discriminate and destroy an incoming missile's warhead using only force of impact, or kinetic energy. The EKV was to be delivered to the exoatmospheric endgame conditions by the GBI boost vehicle (6 km/s velocity within three minutes to a position 2300 km in front of the incoming target warhead).

The Orbital Sciences Corporation Boost Vehicle (OBV) was a three-stage solid motor rocket system developed for the GBI boost vehicle. Orbital's boost vehicle was successful in its first three flight tests conducted in February and August 2003 and January 2004. The OBV design was based on Orbital's highly successful lineage of small satellite launch vehicles - Pegasus, Taurus and Minotaur - offering several advantages that made it an affordable, low-risk approach for the GBI boost vehicle, including: 20+ years of boost vehicle experience; 100% use of commercial rocket motors with proven track records; low costs associated with shared hardware; configuration was START Treaty compliant; built under fully ISO-9001 and AS9100 compliant production processes.

Under the OBV contract, Orbital modified Pegasus, Taurus and Minotaur system designs and was to verify the resulting GMD boost vehicle's performance and operational features in a series of nine demonstration and test flights that began in early 2003. This included participation in eight GMD Integrated Flight Test (IFT) exercises through 2006. The IFT development test program was intended to demonstrate the ability of GMD System elements to work together as an integrated system. The contract also included the manufacture of eighteen GMD boost vehicles through 2005 for emplacement at Fort Greely, Alaska and Vandenberg AFB, California. As designed, this limited defensive capability would later be expanded to enhance overall test infrastructure and system maturation. Orbital was also given long lead material authority for six additional boost vehicles.

More at: GBI.


GBI BV American anti-ballistic missile; initial Orbital Sciences version.

GbI BV-Plus American anti-ballistic missile; alternate design using a Lockheed booster instead of the Orbital Sciences version. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x GEM-40 + 1 x Orbus 1 + 1 x Orbus 1

Family: anti-ballistic. Country: USA. Launch Sites: Vandenberg, Kwajalein, Vandenberg 576E, Fort Greely, Vandenberg LF23, Kwajalein Meck. Stages: Orion 50SXLG, Pegasus-2, Pegasus-3. Agency: OSC. Bibliography: 2.
Photo Gallery

Credit: Boeing / Rocketdyne

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