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astronautix.com ASAT

ASAT HMV
ASAT HMV -

Credit: USAF Museum. 17,907 bytes. 415 x 110 pixels.



Class: Military. Type: ASAT. Nation: USA.

The ASAT (Air-Launched Anti-Satellite Missile) was designed and developed by Vought in response to a 1977 Air Force requirement for a small air-launched missile that was capable of intercepting and destroying enemy satellites in low earth orbit. The missile consists of a modified Short Range Attack Missile (SRAM) first stage, a Thiokol Altair III second stage, and a Vought miniature homing vehicle (MHV). The ASAT was launched from an F-15 aircraft in a steep climb. At high altitudes, this gave the ASAT's rocket a useful initial velocity to allow it to reach its target in orbit. After the first stage separated, the second stage propelled the MHV into space on a collision course with the target. The MHV destroyed the target by ramming it at high speed.

Initial flight test began in 1983. The first successful test interception and destruction of a satellite in space occurred on September 13, 1985. The ASATwas 17 feet 9 1/2 inches long, 20 inches in diameter, and weighed about 2,600 lbs.


Specification


ASAT Chronology


01 July 1962 Kosmoplan and UR-200 draft projects completed. Launch Vehicle: UR-200.


F-15 Launched ASATF-15 Launched ASAT

Credit: USAF. 12,806 bytes. 416 x 97 pixels.


Trial flights of the ICBM version ran from 4 November 1963 to 20 October 1964. Versions of the Kosmoplan would fly as the reactor-powered US-A and solar-powered US-P ELINT satellites and the I2P ASAT.
13 September 1983 First US ASAT intercept

The first successful test interception and destruction of a satellite in space. The ASAT (Air-Launched Anti-Satellite Missile) was designed and developed by Vought in response to a 1977 Air Force requirement for a small air-launched missile that was capable of intercepting and destroying enemy satellites in low earth orbit. The missile consists of a modified Short Range Attack Missile (SRAM) first stage, a Thiokol Altair III second stage, and a Vought miniature homing vehicle (MHV). The ASAT was launched from an F-15 aircraft in a steep climb. At high altitudes, this gave the ASAT's rocket a useful initial velocity to allow it to reach its target in orbit. After the first stage separated, the second stage propelled the MHV into space on a collision course with the target. The MHV destroyed the target by ramming it at high speed.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .