Aerojet, a GenCorp company, announced June 27 that its rocket motors once again successfully contributed to the second consecutive intercept test of Raytheon’s Standard Missile-3 Block IB.
During the test, the missile intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile target.
Aerojet’s MK 72 booster and MK 104 dual-thrust rocket motor provided the first- and second-stage propulsion while Aerojet’s Throttling Divert and Attitude Control System maneuvered the SM-3 Kinetic Warhead into the target for the final hit-to-kill impact.
The SM-3 Block IB missile incorporates kinetic warhead improvements to increase the SM-3 Block IB missile’s capability against current and emerging target threat sets. Aerojet incorporated its throttling solid rocket technology advancements into the TDACS design to provide increased mission flexibility to the warfighter while maintaining the readiness and safety features of solid propellant.
The SM-3 Block IB is being developed as part of the Missile Defense Agency’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System Phased Adaptive Approach. The missiles will be deployed on Aegis cruisers and destroyers, and also on land sites as part of the Aegis Ashore program to defend against short-to-intermediate range ballistic missile threats in the mid-course phase of flight. Raytheon is the prime contractor for the development of SM-3.
“The TDACS provides exceptional control authority for the KW,” said Michael Bright, Aerojet’s vice president of Missile Defense and Strategic Systems. “Each mission builds on the success of the previous to ensure the full range of capability to meet the evolving threat. The third consecutive successful operation of our TDACS is increasing our confidence in the capability of the design, and moving us one step closer to full production.”
Aerojet supports the next generation of sea- and land-based U.S. missile defense capabilities by providing reliable, low-risk propulsion technologies. In addition to the current production of MK 72 and MK 104 rocket motors and the SM-3 Block IB TDACS, the company is developing the TDACS for SM-3 Block IIA, the planned missile variant upgrade to the current SM-3 Block IA and IB.