Encyclopedia Astronautica
HOE


American anti-ballistic missile. Two stage vehicle used to test the Homing Overlay Experiment anti-ballistic missile kill vehicle.

The booster was assembled by Space Vector Corporation from surplus Minuteman-2 motors consisting of 1 x M55E1 + 1 x M56A1.

Success Rate: 100.00%. Launch data is: complete.

Historical Essay © Andreas Parsch

SVC - Lockheed HOE

In the late 1970s, the development of nuclear-armed ABMs (Anti-Ballistic Missiles), which had culminated in the operationally deployed Safeguard system with LIM-49 Spartan and Sprint missiles, was increasingly regarded as a dead end. The U.S. Army began studies about the feasibility of hit-to-kill vehicles, where an interceptor missile would destroy an incoming ballistic missile just by colliding with it head-on.

The first program, which actually tested a hit-to-kill missile interceptor, was the Army's HOE (Homing Overlay Experiment). The HOE vehicle consisted of the first two stages (Thiokol M55E1 + Aerojet General M56A1) of a LGM-30A-B Minuteman I ICBM, which boosted a large KKV (Kinetic Kill Vehicle) to high altitude. The KKV was equipped with an infrared seeker, guidance electronics and a propulsion system. Once in space, the KKV could extend a folded structure similar to an umbrella skeleton of 4 m (13 ft) diameter to enhance its effective cross section. This device, which also had weights attached to the ribs, would destroy the ICBM reentry vehicle on collision.

A total of four intercepts were attempted in the HOE test program. In each test, a Minuteman ICBM with a dummy warhead served as the target. The first attempt on 7 February 1983 missed because a failure in the IR sensor prevented proper target tracking. The next two flights in May and December 1983 failed, too, because of malfunctions in the guidance system. However, the fourth and final test on 10 June 1984 was successful, intercepting the Minuteman RV with a closing speed of about 6.1 km-s (20000 fps) at an altitude of more than 160 km (100 miles).

The successful test came right on time for the SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative) program, which had been officially established in January 1984. One of the primary elements of SDI were ground-based reentry vehicle interceptors without nuclear warheads. The technology tested by HOE formed the base for ERIS (Exoatmospheric Reentry Interceptor Subsystem), the upper-tier component of SDI's ground-based missile defense.

Specifications

I have no data about the exact physical characteristics of the HOE test vehicles. For data on the Minuteman I 1st and 2nd stage motors, refer to the LGM-30 Minuteman page.

Main Sources

[1] Bernard Blake (ed.): "Jane's Weapon Systems 1987-88", Jane's, 1988
[2] Missile Defense Agency Website
[3] Chronology of Missile Defense Tests


Status: Retired 1984.
Gross mass: 35,000 kg (77,000 lb).
Height: 19.00 m (62.00 ft).
Diameter: 1.68 m (5.51 ft).
Thrust: 935.00 kN (210,196 lbf).
Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).
First Launch: 1983.02.07.
Last Launch: 1984.06.10.
Number: 4 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • RS-36 Rocketdyne N2O4/MMH rocket engine. 55.6 kN. HOE Homing Overlay Experiment Upper Stage Axial Propulsion System. Pressure-fed. Derivative of Lance propulsioon system. Isp=281s. First flight 1983. More...
  • RS-36 Sustainer Rocketdyne Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 9.210 kN. HOE Homing Overlay Experiment Upper Stage Axial Propulsion System. Pressure-fed. Derivative of Lance propulsioon system. Isp=262s. First flight 1983. More...

See also
  • missile Guided self-propelled military weapon (as opposed to rocket, an unguided self-propelled weapon). More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Lockheed American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Lockheed Martin, Sunnyvale, CA, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Parsch, Andreas, DesignationSystems.Net, Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Kwajalein The US military base located on this Pacific island group has major tracking facilities and is near the impact area for dummy warheads fired by ICBM's from Vandenberg AFB. It is a key test location for anti-ballistic missile systems. More...

Associated Stages
  • M56 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 5,170/466 kg. Thrust 228.40 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 297 seconds. Second stage of Minuteman I. Used as first stage of Aries sounding rocket and various SDI targets in 1980's. More...
  • Minuteman-1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 23,077/2,292 kg. Thrust 791.30 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 262 seconds. First stage of Minuteman I. Proposed as zero stage for various Saturn variants in 1960's. Surplus motors used in ABM SDI tests in 1980's and 1990's. More...

HOE Chronology


1983 February 7 - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. Launch Vehicle: HOE. LV Configuration: HOE HOE 1.
  • HOE 1 ABM test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1983 May 28 - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. Launch Vehicle: HOE. LV Configuration: HOE HOE 2.
  • HOE 2 ABM test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1983 December 15 - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. Launch Vehicle: HOE. LV Configuration: HOE HOE 3.
  • HOE 3 ABM test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1984 June 10 - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. Launch Vehicle: HOE. LV Configuration: HOE HOE 4.
  • HOE 4 ABM test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use