Raytheon Co. was awarded a $636 million development and sustainment contract to provide the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) to The Boeing Co., which is the prime contractor for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program. EKV represents the centerpiece for the Missile Defense Agency's GMD as the intercept component of the Ground Based Interceptor, which is designed to engage high-speed ballistic missile warheads in space. Under conditions of the contract, which extends through November 2018, Raytheon will provide EKV development, fielding, testing, system engineering, integration, configuration management, equipment manufacturing and refurbishment, and operation and sustainment. The EKV is designed to destroy incoming ballistic missile threats by colliding with them, a concept often described as "hit to kill." EKV has an advanced multi-color sensor that is used to detect and discriminate incoming warheads from other objects. it also has its own propulsion, communications link, discrimination algorithms, guidance and control system, and computers to support target selection and intercept.