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Vehicle, Kinetic Kill, Lightweight Exo-Atmospheric Projectile


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Rockets and Missiles exhibition at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

Built by Hughes Aircraft, this early version of the Lightweight Exoatmospheric Projectile Kinetic Kill Vehicle (LEAP KKV) was successfully tested at the hover facility at Edwards Air Force Base in June 1991. Launched by a booster, LEAP KKVs are designed to destroy an enemy missile in space by physical impact and not by detonation of a warhead. After separation from the booster, the infrared seeker and divert propulsion system help guide it to the enemy missile. Modern versions of the LEAP KKV, now built by Raytheon, are being deployed atop SM-3 missiles on selected U.S. Navy ships to provide defense against theatre ballistic missiles.

This LEAP KKV was donated by the Army Space and Missile Defense Command.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Credit Line

Transferred from the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command


LEAP KV is primarily metal, with some plastic and glass. Storage case is metal and plastic.


  • Overall (storage case): 1ft 4in. x 1ft x 1ft 6in. (40.64 x 30.48 x 45.72cm)
  • Overall (LEAP KV): 1ft 4in. x 6in. (40.64 x 15.24cm)

Country of Origin

United States



Inventory Number


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