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Raytheon And ATK Demonstrate SM-3 Block IA Third Stage Rocket Motor

File image of a SM-3 being launched.
by Staff Writers
Tucson AZ (SPX) Apr 28, 2006
Raytheon Company and Alliant Techsystems (ATK) successfully demonstrated the new Block IA version of a Standard Missile-3 Block IA third stage rocket motor (TSRM).

The design verification test, conducted April 24 at the Air Force Research Lab, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., was the second successful test of the Block IA design and the first to be conducted in a high-altitude chamber representing the vacuum of space flight.

This test was also the second demonstration of an extended inter-pulse delay between the end of the first pulse and the initiation of the second pulse.

The inter-pulse delay enhances the SM-3's flexibility to engage both short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. The TSRM is used to boost the SM-3 out of the atmosphere and to carry the Mk142 kinetic warhead (KW) to its intended target.

"This was an important ground test to prove out and qualify our design enhancement to this important SM-3 capability," said Ed Miyashiro, Raytheon vice president of Naval Weapon Systems.

The SM-3 Block IA TSRM is a minor update to the fielded SM-3 Block I TSRM.

The SM-3 Block IA TSRM design primarily addresses obsolete parts, producibility and supportability upgrades. Raytheon will begin delivering SM-3 Block IA rounds this year and a flight test is planned for this summer.

The SM-3 is part of the Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system to counter ballistic missile threats in outer space.

The SM-3 KW separates from the third stage during the final intercept phase to track the target with its infrared seeker and diverts to a kinetic hit-to-kill intercept. During flight testing, the SM-3 has successfully intercepted six ballistic missile targets.

SM-3 and its KW are produced by Raytheon Company at its Missile Systems business in Tucson, Ariz. ATK provides the TSRM as well as the solid divert and attitude control system for the KW under a subcontract to Raytheon.

Related Links

Missile Defense Boost Vehicle To Get Orbus 1a Motors
Courtland AL (SPX) Apr 28, 2006
Lockheed Martin's Alabama production facility has received the first two Orbus 1A motor assemblies from Alliant Techsystems for the Boost Vehicle-Plus program.

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