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Sat, Dec 13, 2003

One Shot, One Kill

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 world.



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