Army plans to launch four missiles a year from complex

Posted: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

KODIAK (AP) -- The Army plans to launch up to four missiles a year over the next five years from the Kodiak Launch Complex, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Tuesday.

The Army plan, which will be unveiled Thursday, is in addition to the Air Force's recently announced plans to send up eight missiles in as many years from the Kodiak site.

The new proposal is a project of the Ballistic Missile Targets Joint Project Office of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. Army Environmental Protection Specialist Thomas Craven, with an entourage of some eight technical and program representatives, will be on hand Thursday at Kodiak High School to answer questions.

''It's an open house meeting,'' Craven said. ''It's an information session for the public to come and look at what we're proposing. ''We'll talk about ground and air safety.''

The Army's North Pacific Targets Program is proposing up to eight launches yearly, with up to four from the Kodiak site and the others from the Kauai Test Facility, according to Pat Ladner, director of the Alaska Aerospace and Development Corp., which runs the Kodiak facility.

The launches are to test sensor equipment and interceptors on targets with realistic trajectories and large, diverse payloads.

''This target system provides targets for a variety of programs, including the missile defense program,'' Craven said.

The KLC was built with the dual purpose of accommodating both military and commercial customers. To date, there have been two military and no commercial launches from the facility.

The Air Force launches are to be part of an annual military war exercise in Alaska held in late winter.

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