Multiple Kill Vehicle
The Multiple Kill Vehicle (MKV) was a planned U.S. missile defense
Missile defense
Missile defense is a system, weapon, or technology involved in the detection, tracking, interception and destruction of attacking missiles. Originally conceived as a defence against nuclear-armed Intercontinental ballistic missiles , its application has broadened to include shorter-ranged...

 program whose goal is to design, develop, and deploy multiple small kinetic energy
Kinetic energy
The kinetic energy of an object is the energy which it possesses due to its motion.It is defined as the work needed to accelerate a body of a given mass from rest to its stated velocity. Having gained this energy during its acceleration, the body maintains this kinetic energy unless its speed changes...

-based warheads that can intercept and destroy multiple ballistic missiles, including possible decoy targets (penetration aids).

The MKV concept provided the capability for more than one kill vehicle to be launched from a single booster. The system included a carrier vehicle with on-board sensors and a number of kill vehicles, each equipped with its own navigation thrusters
Rocket engine
A rocket engine, or simply "rocket", is a jet engineRocket Propulsion Elements; 7th edition- chapter 1 that uses only propellant mass for forming its high speed propulsive jet. Rocket engines are reaction engines and obtain thrust in accordance with Newton's third law...

 and weighing around 10 pounds. With multiple kill vehicles on a single target "cloud" the probability for a hit on the actual warhead is enhanced. The capability of the system to intercept multiple independent targets was also planned to be tested.

The MKV mission was to destroy medium-range through intercontinental-range ballistic missiles equipped with multiple warheads or countermeasures by using a single interceptor missile. During an actual hostile ballistic missile attack, the carrier vehicle with its cargo of small kill vehicles would have maneuvered into the path of an enemy missile. Using tracking data from the Ballistic Missile Defense System and its own seeker, the carrier vehicle would have dispensed and guided the kill vehicles to destroy any warheads or countermeasures.

After successful development, MKV was planned to be deployed on board GBI missiles, KEI
Kinetic Energy Interceptor
The Kinetic Energy Interceptor was a planned U.S. missile defense program whose goal was to design, develop, and deploy kinetic energy-based, mobile, ground and sea-launched missiles that could intercept and destroy enemy ballistic missiles during their boost, ascent and midcourse phases of flight...

 and SM-3 Block IIA
RIM-161 Standard Missile 3
The RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 is a ship-based missile system used by the US Navy to intercept short-to intermediate-range ballistic missiles as a part of Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. Although primarily designed as an anti-ballistic missile, the SM-3 has also been employed in an...

 as well.

The MKV technology was being developed on a dual-path basis by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, designated MKV-L, and the Raytheon Company (MKV-R).

Missile Defense Agency announced that a test of the MKV-L was conducted 2 December 2008, at the National Hover Test Facility at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

Preliminary indications are that planned test objectives were achieved. Objectives of the test included having the MKV-L hover under its own power and prove its capability to recognize and track a surrogate target in a flight environment. During the test, the MKV-L's propulsion system demonstrated maneuverability while tracking a target. The MKV-L transmitted video and flight telemetry to the ground.

On April 6, 2009, United States Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced that the Pentagon's budget would be reshaped. Under this proposal the MKV program would be terminated.

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