by Space and Missile Systems Center Public Affairs
12/11/2015 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, El Segundo, Calif. -- The
U.S. Air Force's Rocket Systems Launch Program and its mission partners
successfully completed the fourth launch of a Patriot Test
"Continued success of the Juno target series provides a reliable and
affordable test target for our US Army mission partners," said Lt. Gen.
Samuel Greaves, Space and Missile Systems Center commander and Air Force
program executive officer for space at Los Angeles Air Force
Base. "Congratulations to the Launch Enterprise team and its mission
The Patriot Target Vehicle, known as Juno, was designed by Orbital ATK
to provide a realistic threat target, which meets the stringent
performance requirements of the U.S. Army's Patriot missile defense
system. The target's first stage lifts the rocket from its launch pad to
above the earth's atmosphere. After a short coast period, the rocket's
second stage ignites, extending the range of the target missile to
complete its flight path into the defended footprint of a Patriot test
battery. In addition to Orbital ATK's work as the prime contractor for
the target, TASC Inc. provided mission assurance services to
independently verify and validate the Juno Target's performance.
The Juno Target contributes toward meeting the Rocket Systems Launch
Program responsibilities to re-utilize excess motors from
intercontinental ballistic missiles for U.S. government research,
development, test and evaluation efforts, incorporating two solid rocket
motors from the LGM-30F Minuteman II weapon system which was retired in
The Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center, located
at the Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, is the U.S.
Air Force's center of excellence for acquiring and developing military
space systems. Its portfolio includes the Global Positioning System,
military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites,
space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space based
infrared systems and space situational awareness capabilities.