The US Missile Defense Agency announced the award of an eight-year contract for the design, development and build of the kinetic energy interceptor (KEI) missile defense system to a Northrop Grumman and Raytheon team, supported by Rockwell Collins. The KEI system is intended to provide the US with the ability to destroy hostile missiles at their most vulnerable stage, the boost/ascent phase of flight.

Rockwell Collins, a leader in advanced data link systems, will supply both the air and ground portions of the communication system for the interceptor. The company will also provide the interceptor communication unit subsystem that will be located in the missile, as well as the RF transceiver modem communications subsystem located in the KEI in-flight communication system. The contract has a potential for generating approximately $100 M in revenues for Rockwell Collins over the eight-year contract term. KEI will complement the other boost, mid-course and terminal defense interceptor programs currently under development. Rockwell Collins is also supplying the communication system for the exo-atmospheric kill vehicle, a system designed to intercept weapons of mass destruction in their mid-course portion of flight.