Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) System


GMD with sun burst(Neg#: FTG-05-097) The Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) System is the first and only operationally deployed missile defense program to defend the homeland against long-range ballistic missile attacks. The system provides early detection and tracking during the boost phase, midcourse target discrimination, precision intercept and destruction of inbound ICBMs through force of hit-to-kill technology.


  • Detects and tracks missiles early during their boost phase
  • Provides target discrimination, precision intercept and destruction of the target in mid-course flight through hit-to-kill technology
  • Provides post-attack kill assessment with the Sea Based X-Band Radar (SBX)

GMD Industry Team:

  • Boeing: Prime Contractor
  • Raytheon: Kill vehicles, radars
  • Northrop Grumman: BMC2
  • Orbital Sciences Corporation: Booster vehicles
  • Bechtel: Facilities design and construction
  • Teledyne Brown Engineering: Integrated systems testing capabilities and technical services

GMD has been in development since 1998 and is based on technologies pioneered by the MDA in the 1980s and 1990s. As prime contractor, Boeing is designing, producing, integrating, testing and sustaining all GMD components. Extensive ground and flight tests have demonstrated the system's successful performance against long-range ballistic missile targets. The system has achieved a total of eight successful intercept tests, including three successful intercept tests with the operationally configured interceptor.

For more information, read the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (PDF) overview.

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