Spark plug behind failure of Raytheon missile interceptor, Pentagon says

|About: Raytheon Company (RTN)|By:, SA News Editor

A device similar to a spark plug, not a design flaw, was behind the high-profile failure of a U.S.-Japanese missile interceptor built by Raytheon (RTN -0.1%) in a test launch in January, according to a Missile Defense Agency summary obtained by Bloomberg.

The “Hybrid Arm and Fire Device” that failed sets off the third-stage rocket motor that boosts the warhead into flight, and the agency “was able to determine the kill vehicle attempted to complete the intercept” of a dummy incoming target but without the third-stage rocket motor propulsion, “the intercept failed,” according to a report summary; the component had worked in previous tests of the missile.

The agency says it is “instituting appropriate corrective actions to include removing, procuring new, and replacing” arming devices on existing test missiles “in order to avoid a recurrence” of the failure.

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