The mission confirmed effective in-flight performance of the upgrade, which previously succeeded in all ground testing. The upgrade will be integrated into the current missile production line.
“Raytheon is continually working to increase the overall reliability of the highly dependable SM-3, reflecting the MDA’s commitment to mature this capability for the defense of our nation, deployed forces, and our allies,” said Dr. Mitch Stevison, Raytheon Air & Missile Defense vice president. “SM-3 continues to demonstrate its versatility and reliability, providing an extraordinary level of protection from sea or land.”
During the mission at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, sailors on board the USS Hopper launched two SM-3 Block IBs. Target intercepts were not included in the scenarios.
About the Standard Missile-3
SM-3 destroys incoming ballistic missile threats in space using nothing more than sheer impact, equivalent to a 10-ton truck traveling at 600 mph.
* More than 250 SM-3s have been delivered to date.
* SM-3 Block IB is deployed at sea and ashore
* SM-3 Block IIA is on track for deployment at sea and ashore in Poland in the 2018 timeframe