MDA Eyes Kodiak Launch Complex for Missile Defense Flight Tests

Credit: Alaska Aerospace Corp.
Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (Credit: Alaska Aerospace Corp.)

There was some good news last week for the Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC), which has struggled to find users for the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA) on Kodiak Island.

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced that it would award AAC a contract to support flight tests for the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) at the spaceport. The contract has a five-year base with a single one-year option.

“The MDA has a requirement to flight test the missile defense systems in realistic deployment scenarios including the interception of target vehicles, track exercises and interoperations with other missile defense systems,” the agency said in announcing the contract.

“MDA requires use of a launch facility and range services in the Pacific Northwest to conduct these tests,” the agency added. “The PSCA’s unique combination of geography, force protection, and infrastructure capability is unavailable at any other land-based location in the Northern Pacific Region of the BMDS Test Bed.”

The Alaska Congressional delegation praised MDA for selecting the spaceport.

“As an early supporter of our nation’s Ballistic Missile Defense System, including efforts in the late 90’s to pass the ‘All-American Resolution’ to ensure equal protection for Alaska and Hawaii from ballistic missile threats, I’m extremely pleased with today’s announcement,” said Rep. Don Young. “With growing threats from North Korea, combined with Iran’s nuclear ambitions, it’s vital that the United States remain vigilant in our efforts to defend against rogue nations set on acquiring and using long-range missile technology.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski added: “Today’s announcement is great news for Kodiak and for Alaska. The Missile Defense Agency continues to recognize Alaska’s geographic advantage in the execution of its mission. Testing regional missile defense systems in Kodiak is the latest chapter in a longstanding relationship between the Missile Defense Agency and our state.”