Fri, Nov 18, 2005
Sixth Successful Test In Program
Raytheon's Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) destroyed a ballistic
missile target outside the earth's atmosphere during a Missile
Defense Agency/ Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program
flight test Thursday over the Pacific Ocean. It was the sixth
successful intercept for the Aegis BMD program using the SM-3.
The Thursday mission was the first test against a separating
ballistic missile target. The SM-3 Block I initial deployment round
used in the test was an operational missile delivered by Raytheon
last year for testing and availability for emergency
According to a Raytheon release, the SM-3 was launched from the
USS Lake Erie -- an Aegis BMD cruiser -- and hit the target missile
that had been launched from the Navy's Pacific Missile Range
Facility on Kauai, Hawaii.
To ensure a realistic wartime environment for the test, the
ship's crew was not informed of the target launch time. Operational
testers observed the exercise.
"SM-3 continues to perform flawlessly in increasingly
challenging scenarios. This test, using a missile right from the
Navy's inventory, was conducted in operational conditions," said
Edward Miyashiro, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president, Naval
Weapon Systems. "Continued success provides confidence that the
nation can increase the number of systems deployed and make missile
capability improvements. We are even seeing our international
allies taking a closer look at SM-3 for their homeland defense.
Sea-based ballistic missile defense provides a global
Japan has decided to procure SM-3 and the Aegis BMD system for
its Kongo class ships.
Raytheon's Missile Systems business in Tucson, AZ is developing
the SM-3, and leads the integrated team effort -- including Alliant
Techsystems, Aerojet, and Boeing.
(Editor's Note: The photos shown are of the operationally
similar SM-2 missile.)
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