Ground-Based Interceptor

The Ground-Based Interceptor is the anti-ballistic missile component of the United States' Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system.

Ground-Based Interceptor
OBV GBI 1.jpg
A Ground-Based Interceptor loaded into a silo at Fort Greely, Alaska, in July 2004
TypeAnti-ballistic missile
Place of originUnited States
Service history
Used byUnited States Army
Production history
ManufacturerOrbital Sciences Corporation, Raytheon, Boeing Defense, Space & Security
Mass21,600 kg [1]
Length16.61 m [1]
Diameter1.28 m [1]



This interceptor is made up of a boost vehicle, constructed by Orbital Sciences Corporation, and an Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, built by Raytheon. Integration of these is performed by Boeing Defense, Space & Security.[2]

The three-stage Orbital Boost Vehicle (OBV)[3] uses the solid-fuel rocket upper stages of the Taurus launcher.[4] The interceptor version deployed in the U.S. has three stages. A two-stage version was successfully tested in 2010 for use in Europe's NATO missile defence as a backup option to the preferred Aegis System Standard Missile 3.[5]

A total of 64 interceptors are planned:[6] 30 interceptors were deployed at the end of 2010 at Fort Greely, Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.[7] with fourteen additional missiles deployed by 2017, and 20 more GBIs planned. Since 2006, the Missile Defense Agency conducted seven intercept tests with the operationally configured missile, four of which were successful.[8][9]


  1. ^ a b c Jim O'Halloran (15 Jan 2014). Jane's Weapons 2014/2015: Strategic (PDF). Jane's Information Group. p. 243. ISBN 978-0710631077.
  2. ^ "Fact sheet: GMD Boost Vehicle" (PDF). Orbital Sciences Corporation.
  3. ^
  4. ^ William Graham (27 June 2013). "Orbital's Pegasus XL successfully lofts IRIS spacecraft". NASA. The Orbital Boost Vehicle, developed for the US military’s Ground Based Interceptor program, uses the upper stages of the Taurus
  5. ^ Turner Brinton (June 7, 2010). "Two-Stage Interceptor Missile Succeeds in First Flight Test". Space News. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  6. ^ David Vergun, (February 22, 2019) DOD official describes missile defense strategy
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Staff Sgt. Zachary Sheely (April 5, 2019) National Guard Soldiers at forefront of most significant test in missile defense history

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