Sat, Dec 13, 2003
SM-3 Anti-Missile Missile Scores (Another) Direct Hit
Score one for the
missile shield. A Raytheon Company Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) landed
a knock-out punch to a ballistic missile in space during an Aegis
BMD Program flight test off the Hawaiian coast Thursday.
The SM-3 is part of the Lockheed Martin-developed Aegis
Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system. The Dec. 11 mission,
designated Flight Mission-6 (FM-6), was the fourth successful
hit-to-kill intercept for the Missile Defense Agency's Aegis BMD
program. As in the previous flight tests, the SM-3 was launched
from the Aegis BMD cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG70) and shortly
thereafter hit the ARIES target that had been launched from the
Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai.
The kinetic warhead (KW) properly selected, guided to and
impacted the reactive payload section of the target. This test used
the new monolithic solid divert and attitude control system (SDACS)
in sustain mode, the baseline configuration for the initial
deployment round missiles.
"Our success with FM-6 illustrates our SM-3 team's dedication
and commitment to developing, demonstrating and deploying an
effective missile defense system. We are pleased to be part of
making this program a success for our customer and to demonstrate
this defensive capability for our country," said Louise L.
Francesconi, president of Raytheon Missile Systems.
The test continues to demonstrate Raytheon's "hit-to-kill"
missile defense capabilities. In all, Raytheon systems have
successfully intercepted nine targets in space. (See note to
editors.) Raytheon's Missile Systems business in Tucson, Ariz.,
which is developing SM-3, also is developing the Exoatmospheric
Kill Vehicle for MDA's Ground-based Midcourse Defense program. A
Raytheon-Northrop Grumman team was selected last week to develop
the Kinetic Energy Interceptors program for the boost phase element
of the MDA's global layered missile defense system.
Raytheon is leading the SM-3 integrated team effort, supported
by Alliant Techsystems and the Boeing Company, which are providing
major subsystems. Standard Missile-2 (SM-2), the air and cruise
missile defense version of Standard Missile, is currently at sea in
more than 65 U.S. Aegis cruisers and destroyers, with more than 20
additional ships in production or planned. Standard Missile also is
in operation with more than 13 international navies around the
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