Huntsville-managed Boeing missile defense system awarded for historic flight test
Boeing’s Huntsville-managed Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system on Tuesday was announced as a winner of a prestigious Aviation Week Laureate Award for completing an unprecedented missile flight test earlier this year.
In partnership with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Boeing’s GMD program was recognized in the defense weapons platforms category.
This is GMD’s third Laureate Award, as the program was also honored in 2015 and 2018.
According to Aviation Week, “The Aviation Week Network’s Laureates awards recognize the extraordinary achievements of individuals and teams in our esteemed industry. These accomplishments embody the spirit of exploration, innovation and vision that inspire others to strive for progress, change and leadership in aviation and aerospace.”
Aviation Week this year specifically hailed the MDA and Boeing completing a historic missile defense test in March at Vandenberg AFB, California. For the first time, two GMD system interceptors were launched to destroy a threat-representative target, validating that the fielded system protects the United States from intercontinental ballistic missiles. Aviation Week billed it as “the most realistic test yet” of the system.
In a statement, Paul Smith, GMD vice president and program director, emphasized the test’s significance.
“The data collected from this test will enhance missile defense for years to come and solidify confidence in the system,” Smith advised.
“We are proud to be recognized for this work that demonstrated, and will continue to increase, the system’s reliability to outpace the ever advancing threat,” he added.
You can read more about GMD here. The Huntsville-managed program is crucial to national security, having been called the only system that can successfully protect the U.S. from an ICBM, such as a nuclear missile from North Korea.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn