The Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle defends the United States against long-range ballistic missiles by destroying them while they are still in space.
Also known as EKV, the kinetic-force weapon is the intercept component of the Ground-Based Interceptor and part of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense System.
When the Ground-based Midcourse Defense System tracks a threat, it launches a Ground-Based Interceptor, which uses a three-stage solid rocket booster to fly out of Earth's atmosphere at near-hypersonic speeds. Once it has exited the atmosphere, EKV's job begins.
The Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle seeks out its target using multi-color sensors, a cutting-edge onboard computer and a rocket motor that helps it steer in space.
EKV guides to the target and, with pinpoint precision, destroys the threat using nothing more than the force of a massive collision. No traditional warhead is necessary.