Missile Defense - Missile Defense Categories - Trajectory Phase - Boost Phase

Boost Phase

Intercepting the missile while its rocket motors are firing, usually over the launch territory (example: American aircraft-mounted laser weapon Boeing YAL-1 ).

  • Bright, hot rocket exhaust makes detection, discrimination and targeting easier.
  • Decoys cannot be used during boost phase.
  • Difficult to geographically position interceptors to intercept missiles in boost phase (not always possible without flying over hostile territory).
  • Short time for intercept (typically about 180 seconds).

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Boost Phase

The boost phase is the portion of the flight of a ballistic missile or space vehicle during which the booster and sustainer engines operate until it reaches peak velocity. This phase can take 3 to 4 minutes (for a solid rocket shorter than for a liquid-propellant rocket), the altitude at the end of this phase is 150–200 km, and the typical burn-out speed is 7 km/s. Boost-phase intercept is a type of missile defense technology that would be designed to disable enemy missiles while they are still in the boost phase.

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