SM-3 Block IIA Ascent
The successful completion of a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA flight test from the Point Mugu Sea Range, San Nicolas Island, California marked the third milestone for the missile defense program this week.
This live fire test of the SM-3 Block IIA demonstrated the initial phase of the flight, from flyout through kinetic warhead ejection. No intercept was planned, and no target missile was launched. Program officials will evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.
The SM-3 Cooperative Development Project is the joint U.S.-Japan development of a 21-inch diameter variant of the SM-3, designated Block IIA. With larger rocket motors and a more capable kill vehicle, the SM-3 Block IIA which will provide faster speeds and greater range, protecting larger regions of land. The larger missile is designed to defeat medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, and expand the range and capability from the current SM-3 Block IA and IB interceptors enabling more mission flexibility on both Japanese and U.S. Aegis ships.
SM-3 Block IIA is developed under a cooperative development between Japan Ministry of Defense (MOD) Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA) and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), in cooperation with the U.S. Navy.
Following the successful test MDA awarded a $543 million contract to Raytheon, the missile developer, to produce and deliver up to 17 of the new Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA interceptors for operational testing and initial deployment.
“SM-3 Block IIA plays a pivotal role in Phase 3 of the European Phased Adaptive Approach through its proven technology and adaptability to an evolving security environment” said Dr. Mitch Stevison, Raytheon Air & Missile Defense vice president. “SM-3 Block IIA remains on schedule for both land and sea deployment in 2018, enabling a greater degree of protection than ever before for our U.S. deployed forces and NATO allies.” SM-3 Block IIA is on track for deployment at sea and ashore in 2018 in Poland.