Raytheon-made SM-3 missile finds ballistic target
The US Navy has conducted a Missile Defense Agency test that saw two Standard Missile-3 Block IBs consecutively launched from the USS Lake Erie against a complex, separating short-range ballistic missile target.
According to Raytheon, the first guided missile successfully destroyed the target using the sheer kinetic force of a massive collision in space.
The second SM-3 was designed to test the ship weapons system's ability to launch multiple missiles at one time against a threat. An intercept for the second SM-3 was not part of the test scenario.
Taylor Lawrence, president, Raytheon Missile Systems, said: ‘Confidence in the SM-3 Block IB's defensive capability continues to grow with each flight test. When this weapon deploys in 2015, the US and our allies will have a tremendously reliable, capable defensive asset on their side.’
Mitch Stevison, Raytheon Missile Systems' SM-3 program director, added: ‘We're gaining a tremendous amount of information about what this missile can do, and in many instances it is far surpassing design requirements. The SM-3 Block IB is proving it can take on increasingly sophisticated scenarios, and that kind of confidence sets the stage for a production decision.’
The SM-3 is a defensive weapon used by the US and Japan to defend against short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
Based on the SM-3 Block IA, the SM-3 Block IB incorporates an enhanced two-colour infrared seeker and the Throttleable Divert and Attitude Control System, a mechanism that propels the missile toward incoming targets.
More than 155 SM-3s have been delivered to the US and Japanese navies, and Raytheon is on track to deliver the next-generation SM-3 Block IB in 2015. SM-3 Block IB will be deployed in both sea-based and land-based modes.
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