NWI - Naval Warfare

SM-3 Block IIA in new intercept test

7th February 2017 - 12:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The US Navy and the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) have successfully completed the intercept flight test of Raytheon's Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA from USS John Paul Jones against a land-launched target resembling an advanced ballistic missile threat, the company announced on 4 February.

The mission was designed to evaluate key missile system performance, including the kinetic warhead, divert and attitude control system functionality, nosecone performance, steering control section function, booster performance and separation, second and third stage rocket motor performance and separation.

The interceptor's kinetic warhead has been designed to address advanced and emerging threats, with improvements to the search, discrimination, acquisition and tracking functions. The kinetic warhead allows SM-3 Block IIA to engage more sophisticated threats and protect larger regions from short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats, providing greater operational flexibility.

Taylor W Lawrence, president at Raytheon Missile Systems, said: 'The SM-3 Block IIA programme continues to reflect MDA's commitment to maturing this regional ballistic missile defence capability for the defence of our nation, its deployed forces and our allies abroad.'

Future flight tests will continue to evaluate system performance, en-route to a 2018 deployment in support of the European Phased Adaptive Approach Phase 3.

The SM-3 Block IIA has previously undergone testdemonstrations without target intercepts, in order to evaluate the missile and prepare for the first intercept test.

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