GMD Testing Update (March 19, 2019)

The FY 2020 RDT&E budget documentation for the Missile Defense Agency is now out, and unlike the previous year’s materials it includes currently planned quarterly dates for flight and intercept tests of the Ground Based Midcourse (GMD) system.  Through 2024 it appears that there are three intercept tests and two (non-intercept) flight tests planned.  Here they are:


Date as of May 2017

Current Date



4Q 2018

2Q FY 2019

Salvo intercept test. One CE-II and one CE-II Block I GBIs against an ICBM-range target.



4Q FY 2020

Flight test of upgraded GBI booster with selectable 2 or 3 stage capability.  It will be launched from  Vandenberg.


1Q 2020

2Q FY 2022

Flight test of Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV)


1Q 2021

1Q FY 2023

First RKV intercept test.


1Q 2022

1Q FY 2024

Second RKV intercept test.


The testing schedule for the RKV shows a slip of about two years.   This is consistent with the two year delay (from 2023 to 2025) in RKV deployment that was announced at the March 12 MDA press briefing on its FY 2020 budget.



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