Posted by John McHaleHUNTSVILLE, Ala., 26 March 2011. A new test center for missile defense systems was opened by Lockheed Martin in Huntsville, Ala. The Huntsville Integrated Test (HIT) center provide high fidelity, end-to-end testing of missile defense systems with hardware and digital functionality. It will support full-scale, hardware-in-the-loop testing of missile defense interceptor and ground systems in a reconfigurable environment. Two five-axis motion simulators with infrared scene generators will be used to support salvo and multi-tiered intercept scenarios, hardware, and software validation, risk reduction, and rapid evaluation of evolving threats. In the controlled laboratory environment anomalies can be analyzed and pinpointed prior to further testing at government test ranges."This facility demonstrates Lockheed Martin's commitment to advancing the state-of-the-art in missile defense capabilities," says John W. Holly, vice president of Missile Defense Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. A variety of missile defense systems can be tested in the facility. This includes systems for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Development and Sustainment Contract and other weapon system elements.The center is equipped with high-speed fiber optic connectivity throughout the building, which allows the center to connect to government laboratories and major first- and second-tier missile defense suppliers, in the future.The building will be ready for initial occupancy in May. An additional phase, which is planned for completion by the end of the year, will include a system integration laboratory and a missile integration laboratory. The new facility is the ninth building in the Lockheed Martin 80-acre campus on Bradford Drive in Research Park, which the company has occupied since 1963.