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Janus Target Successfully Launched for PATRIOT Test

Janus target launch

A Janus target sits poised for launch from Wake Island in support of a PATRIOT fire unit test. Janus provides a realistic threat target for the PATRIOT. Utilizing a refurbished SR-19 “Flexseal” motor for its first and second stage, the rocket lifted from its launch pad with the assistance of two U.S. Army M26 Multiple Launch Rocket System strap-on boosters. Both stages completed their nominal burn patterns placing the Re-entry Vehicle into the defended footprint of a PATRIOT fire unit. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army)

Janus target launch

A Janus target launches from Wake Island in support of a PATRIOT fire unit test. Janus provides a realistic threat target for the PATRIOT. Utilizing a refurbished SR-19 “Flexseal” motor for its first and second stage, the rocket lifted from its launch pad with the assistance of two U.S. Army M26 Multiple Launch Rocket System strap-on boosters. Both stages completed their nominal burn patterns placing the Re-entry Vehicle into the defended footprint of a PATRIOT fire unit. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army)

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

The U.S. Air Force’s Rocket Systems Launch Program, part of the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise Directorate, successfully completed a Janus Target vehicle launch, Sept. 16.

“The vehicle provided by RSLP offer realistic and affordable targets for testing of our nation’s missile defense system,” said Lt. Gen. John Thompson, Air Force program executive officer for Space and SMC commander.  "Congratulations to the Launch Enterprise team and its mission partners for another successful launch."

Janus was designed by Orbital ATK to provide a realistic threat target meeting the stringent performance requirements of the U.S. Army’s PATRIOT program.  The Janus target utilizes a refurbished SR-19 “Flexseal” motor for its first and second stage. The rocket lifted from its launch pad at Wake Island with the assistance of two U.S. Army M26 Multiple Launch Rocket System strap-on boosters. Both stages completed their nominal burn patterns placing the Re-entry Vehicle into the defended footprint of a PATRIOT fire unit.  In addition to Orbital ATK’s work as the prime contractor for the target, ASRC Federal Space & Defense provided mission assurance services to independently verify and validate the Janus Target’s performance.

One of the critical elements of the RSLP program is supporting U.S. government research, development and testing. Besides providing the Army’s Lower Tier Project office with a realistic threat target, the Janus mission also serves as a use for the national stockpile of solid motors from heritage ICBM systems. The mission incorporated two surplus solid rocket motors from the Minuteman II weapon system, which was retired in 1994. 

Media representatives can submit questions for response regarding this topic by sending an e-mail to smcpa.media@us.af.mil.