(Kauai, 15.04.2011) Raytheon Company completed the first flight test of a Standard Missile-3 Block IA against an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM). The test also demonstrated the SM-3 Block IA's ability to engage a ballistic missile target when launched on remote.
"This test certifies phase I of the Phased Adaptive Approach," said Frank Wyatt, vice president of Raytheon's Air and Missile Defense Systems product line. "Executing the launch-on-remote engagement demonstrates both the increased capability of Raytheon's SM-3 Block IA and the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed Aegis ships."
The IRBM target was launched from Kwajalein Atoll. As it rose above the horizon, the target was acquired and tracked by a forward-based Raytheon AN/TPY-2 X-band radar located on Wake Island.
The target information was relayed through the command, control, battle management and communications system to an Aegis ship. The Aegis Weapon System computed a firing solution, forwarded this information to the SM-3 Block IA and initiated the launch sequence. By leveraging off-board sensors, the SM-3 Block IA engaged the IRBM.
"This was the 19th successful intercept for Raytheon's SM-3, and it clearly demonstrates the missile's increased capability," said Wyatt. "We've taken a proven missile and made it even more capable through sensor netting."
Raytheon is developing SM-3 as part of the Missile Defense Agency's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, and more than 130 SM-3s have been delivered to date. The missiles are deployed with both the U.S. and Japanese navies to defend against short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats in the ascent and midcourse phases of flight.