Airborne Interceptor Experiment (ABIE) was a joint service exercise
flown on July 9, 1996. The experiment was designed to demonstrate
the feasibility of the boost phase intercept of a theater ballistic
missile. ABIE was a huge success according to officials
at the Air Force Space and Missile systems Center (SMC) Los Angeles,
CA. The Airborne Interceptor Experiment, conceived and executed
by Space Vector under the direction of JHU-APL and SMC was the
first of a number of planned experiments with Air Force and Navy
units of the U.S. Atlantic Command. The experiment involved
the successful launch of a Space Vector provided Aries Target
Launch Vehicle (TLV) from the NASA test range at Wallops Island,
VA. The ABIE-TLV was configured to fly a boost trajectory
similar to a real theater ballistic missile.
part of the joint exercise, the Aries target was detected and
tracked by Air Force F-15s, Navy F-14s, an Air Force infrared
sensor tracking platform, and by fleet surface ships of the U.S.
Atlantic Command. During the ABIE test, data was collected
that will be used to develop a system that uses interceptor missiles
launched from airborne platforms to shoot down theater ballistic
missiles in their boost phase.
Space Vector's involvement in the program included:
of the flight experiment and demonstrating capability to meet
precise timing and vehicle placement requirements,
the ABIE Aries Target Launch Vehicle including the adaptation
of existing subsystems into the ABIE-TLV configuration,
the launch & flight test operations at NASA-WFF.
was the thirty-fifth Aries class vehicle launched by Space Vector.
The program was successfully accomplished within a very short
period of time to accommodate the availability of training ships