PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE FACILITY, KAUAI, Hawaii, June 22, 2006 /PRNewswire/ -- A Raytheon Company-produced Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) and the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) 3.6 Weapon System destroyed a ballistic missile target today outside the earth's atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. It was the seventh successful intercept for Aegis BMD's SM-3.
The flight mission, Flight Test Maritime-10, was the first to use the new Block IA version of SM-3, which Raytheon is scheduled to deliver to the Missile Defense Agency later this year. The SM-3 Block IA provides increased capability to engage both short- and medium-range ballistic missiles with rocket motor upgrades and computer program modifications to improve sensor performance, missile guidance and control, as well as lower cost. It also includes producibility and maintainability design changes required to qualify the missile as a tactical fleet asset.
The flight mission was also the second successful test against a medium-range, separating ballistic missile target. The mock warhead separated from the booster section, presenting a more challenging engagement scenario.
In the operationally realistic scenario, the SM-3 was launched from USS Shiloh and hit the target missile that had been launched from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii. The ship's crew was not informed of the target launch time, further simulating a realistic wartime environment. The Navy's operational testers participated in the planning, execution and assessment of the exercise.
"This test validates the SM-3 Block IA design and paves the way for us to ramp up production of this urgently needed capability," said Edward Miyashiro, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president, Naval Weapon Systems. "The system's and team's continued success is a testament to our focus on Mission Assurance at every level."
A secondary flight mission objective was to evaluate the ability of a land-based X-band radar to cue an Aegis destroyer, via the Ballistic Missile Defense System, to detect and track a ballistic missile. Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems' TPS-X (Transportable Surveillance X-Band) radar, installed on Kauai, tracked the target missile from launch and also tracked the SM-3 Block IA from horizon break through target intercept. The target's track information was relayed as designed to USS Milius.
Raytheon's Missile Systems business in Tucson, Ariz., is developing SM-3 and leads the integrated team effort, which includes Alliant Techsystems, Aerojet and The Boeing Company.
Raytheon continues to deliver missiles to the Missile Defense Agency under contract to increase the nation's inventory of operational rounds. The kinetic warhead seeker and final integration occur in Raytheon's state-of-the-art kill vehicle manufacturing facility in Tucson, alongside the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, an element of the Ground-based Missile Defense program. Final assembly and testing of SM-3 occurs at Raytheon's Camden, Ark., facility.
Raytheon Company , with 2005 sales of $21.9 billion, is an industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 80,000 people worldwide.
Note to Editors:
Raytheon's missile defense hit-to-kill successes with the Standard Missile-3 occurred Jan. 25, June 13 and Nov. 21, 2002; Dec. 11, 2003; and Feb. 24 and Nov. 17, 2005. Successes with the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle occurred Oct. 2, 1999; July 13 and Dec. 3, 2001; and March 15 and Oct. 14, 2002.