US Navy launches two Raytheon-made SM-3 missiles against single ballistic missile target

Scenario designed to test ship's ability to launch SM-3s

PR Newswire

PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE FACILITY, KAUAI, Hawaii, Sept. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In a Missile Defense Agency test, the U.S. Navy launched two Raytheon Company (RTN)-made Standard Missile-3 Block IBs from the USS Lake Erie against a complex, separating short-range ballistic missile target. The first guided missile successfully destroyed the target using the sheer kinetic force of a massive collision in space.

The SM-3 is a defensive weapon used by the U.S. and Japan to defend against short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles.  

"Confidence in the SM-3 Block IB's defensive capability continues to grow with each flight test," said Dr. Taylor Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. "When this weapon deploys in 2015, the U.S. and our allies will have a tremendously reliable, capable defensive asset on their side."

During the test, two SM-3 interceptors were launched at a single target consecutively. The first SM-3 eliminated the target. 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.

"We're gaining a tremendous amount of information about what this missile can do, and in many instances it is far surpassing design requirements," said Dr. Mitch Stevison, Raytheon Missile Systems' SM-3 program director. "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 test was the 25th successful flight test for the SM-3 program and the fourth back-to-back successful test of the next-generation SM-3 Block IB variant. Based on the highly successful SM-3 Block IA currently deployed around the world today, the SM-3 Block IB incorporates an enhanced two-color infrared seeker and the Throttleable Divert and Attitude Control System, a mechanism that propels the missile toward incoming targets.

For more specifics on the test scenario, visit www.mda.mil.

About the Standard Missile-3

SM-3s destroy incoming ballistic missile threats by colliding with them, a concept sometimes described as "hitting a bullet with a bullet." The impact is the equivalent of a 10-ton truck traveling at 600 mph.

  • More than 155 SM-3s have been delivered to the U.S. and Japanese navies.
  • 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.

About Raytheon

Raytheon Company, with 2012 sales of $24 billion and 68,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 91 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems; as well as a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @Raytheon.

Media Contact 
Heather Uberuaga 
+1.520.891.8421 
rmspr@raytheon.com

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