The effects of any budget/program decisions made since the information was collected during 1997-98 are NOT reflected in the National Security Space Road Map (NSSRM).

(U) Army Kinetic Energy Kill Vehicle

-Road Map
-Text Version

Overview (U):

(U) The Kinetic Energy Anti-Satellite (KE ASAT) program is intended to provide the United States with the capability to interdict hostile satellites. The KE ASAT consists of missile and weapon control subsystems. The major components of the missile subsystem are the booster, kill vehicle, shroud, and launch support system. The weapon control subsystem is composed of a battery control center and a mission control element which perform readiness and engagement planning, command and control. The objective of this program is to define, develop, integrate and test the necessary Kinetic Kill Vehicle (KKV), weapon control subsystem component and subsystems technologies to demonstrate hit to kill performance, with debris mitigation, against hostile satellites.

Description (U):

(U) In 1989 the Department of Defense initiated a program to develop a ground-launched, kinetic energy (i.e., hit-to-kill) anti-satellite (KE ASAT) weapon system which would leverage off technologies developed by the U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command in support of the (then) Strategic Defense Initiative Organization. Following a Milestone I Defense Acquisition Board Review in December of 1989, the Army was given responsibility for development of the weapon elements of the system (booster, kill vehicle, launch and ground support systems, and the mission and battery control centers.). The Air Force was given responsibility for development of the command and control elements that would have allowed the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Space Command (USCINCSPACE) to plan and control ASAT engagements.

(U) The initial operational requirements and associated funding projections were based on the need for a capability to negate significant numbers of Soviet low-earth-orbiting satellites which could provide key intelligence data on the position and movement of U.S. and allied forces or enhance the military effectiveness of enemy forces. With the end of the cold war however, the perceived need for this capability, as well as support for continued funding diminished steadily and the program was restructured several times. The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 1994 (FY94) directed that the program be converted to a Tactical ASAT Technology Program as opposed to an acquisition program. Funds for continued technology development were authorized in both FY94 and FY95 but never appropriated. Carryover FY93 funds were used to complete the integration of two prototype kill vehicles, one of which was successfully ground tested in September, 1994.

(U) Prior to termination, KE ASAT was funded at $75M and up for FY96 and out years. Some members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee and some members of the OSD staff were concerned about the continuing need for a KE ASAT capability. As a result of this concern, Congress directed the Army to revisit the requirements and need for an ASAT system in the current environment. A new ASAT Operational Requirement Document (ORD) dated February 1993 reflects that the ASAT mission requirements are current and valid. The validated requirements report was sent by the Army to OSD to go to Congress per a Congressional request in April 1993.

(U) The top-level objective of the Army Kinetic Energy Anti-Satellite (KE ASAT) Initiative Flight Development and Demonstration is to provide performance data for the Department of Defense (DoD) Space Control Architecture. This program will demonstrate a near-term, hit-to-kill capability to selectively negate or deny vital space based intelligence and targeting data to adversaries. Technologies developed and demonstrated during the KE ASAT Weapon System (WS) Demonstration/Validation (DEM/VAL) Program are the basis for this flight demonstration program.

User Impact (U):

(U) To be supplied.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Programmable.

Images (U):

(U) None.

Related Initiatives (U):
Ground-Based Laser Beam ControlGround-Based Laser Beam Control Technology
Ground-Based Laser JammerGround-Based Laser Jammer
LEO Hard Kill ASATLow Earth Orbit (LEO) Hard Kill ASAT
Small RF VehicleSmall RF Vehicle
Space-Based LaserSpace-Based Laser (SBL)
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Requirements (U): None.

Related Categories (U):
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

KE-ASAT Homepage
This Table Is Unclassified.

Lead Office (U):


Point of Contact (U):

(U) National Security Space Road Map Team, NSSA, Open Phone: (703) 808-6040, DSN 898-6040.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 21 November 1997


(U) For comments/suggestions contact: Office of the National Security Space Architect (NSSA), 571-432-1300.

(U) Road Map Production Date: 23 June 2001

The effects of any budget/program decisions made since the information was collected during 1997-98 are NOT reflected in the National Security Space Road Map (NSSRM).