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Raytheon Standard Missile-3 Achieves Ninth Hit-to-Kill Intercept In Space

The SM-3 Block IA provides increased capability to engage short-to- intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
by Staff Writers
Kauai, Hawaii (SPX) Jun 22, 2007
A Raytheon-produced Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) successfully engaged a ballistic missile target outside the earth's atmosphere during a flight test over the Pacific Ocean. Launched from the USS DECATUR (DDG 73), the SM-3 Block IA destroyed a medium-range ballistic missile target that had been launched from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii.

This flight test marked the first time that a SM-3 was fired from an Aegis destroyer. In previous tests, the missile was launched from Aegis cruisers. It was the third intercept of a medium-range target with a separating re-entry warhead and the ninth successful intercept for the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense program.

"This successful flight test again demonstrates the tactical, operational capability of SM-3 and the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Weapon System in real-world conditions," said Frank Wyatt, Raytheon's vice president of Naval Weapon Systems. "We are proud of SM-3's impressive record of successful intercepts."

The SM-3 Block IA provides increased capability to engage short-to- intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The SM-3 Block IA incorporates rocket motor upgrades and computer program modifications to improve sensor performance, missile guidance and control, as well as lower cost. It also includes producibility and maintainability features required to qualify the missile as a tactical fleet asset.

"The program has truly transitioned to a manufacturing mindset. We have delivered more than 23 operational SM-3 rounds to our customers. We are ramping up our facilities and suppliers to accelerate deliveries of this urgently needed capability to the fleet," said Wyatt.

Raytheon's Missile Systems business in Tucson, Ariz., is developing SM-3 and leads the integrated team effort, which includes Alliant Techsystems, Aerojet and The Boeing Company. The kinetic warhead seeker and final integration occur in Raytheon's state-of-the-art kill vehicle space manufacturing facility in Tucson, alongside the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, an element of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program. Final assembly and testing of SM-3 occurs at Raytheon's Camden, Ark., facility. Note to Editors:

Raytheon's missile defense hit-to-kill successes with the Standard Missile-3 occurred Jan. 25, June 13 and Nov. 21, 2002; Dec. 11, 2003; Feb. 24 and Nov. 17, 2005; June 22, 2006 and April 26, 2007. Successes with the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle occurred Oct. 2, 1999; July 13 and Dec. 3, 2001; March 15 and Oct. 14, 2002; and Sept. 1, 2006.

related report
Lockheed Martin Aegis System Destroys Medium-Range Separating Ballistic Missile During Test
Kauai, Hi, June 22 - During a test Friday Lockheed Martin's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) System intercepted and destroyed a separating ballistic missile target during its midcourse phase of flight.

The test represents the Aegis BMD system's ninth successful ballistic missile intercept in 11 attempts and is the first ballistic missile intercept conducted by an Aegis BMD destroyer. This also marks the third time the Aegis BMD system has demonstrated its target discrimination capabilities by intercepting a ballistic missile with a separating reentry vehicle. In addition to its record of intercepts, Aegis BMD has successfully supported more than 15 ballistic missile defense system tracking tests since June 2004.

In today's test, USS Decatur (DDG 73), an Aegis BMD destroyer equipped with the latest U.S. Navy certified version of the Aegis BMD Weapon System (Aegis BMD 3.6), successfully guided a Standard Missile (SM)-3 Block IA missile to intercept a medium range, separating ballistic missile target outside the Earth's atmosphere.

In addition to USS Decatur, the Aegis BMD Cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73) and the Spanish Navy Aegis-equipped frigate Mendez Núnez (F-104) participated in the test as a training event to assess the future capabilities of the F-100 Class.

During the test, USS Port Royal used its SPY-1B radar augmented by a prototype Aegis BMD Signal Processor (BSP) to detect and track the separating warhead in real time, and to differentiate - or discriminate - the simulated warhead from the rest of the missile. The BSP's success further validated the readiness of this advanced discrimination capability against complex threats for installation and deployment as part of the next configuration of Aegis BMD capability beginning in 2010.

Also in this test, USS Port Royal exchanged tracking data with a ground-based Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) system ashore. THAAD, also developed by Lockheed Martin, is designed to engage ballistic missiles in the terminal phase of flight. The Aegis BMD-THAAD link verified interoperability of systems and sensors in the nation's Ballistic Missile Defense System.

For this test, Mendez Núnez detected and tracked the ballistic missile with a minor modification made to its Aegis Weapon System.

"With nine successful intercepts from three different ships with three different crews, we can now clearly see the potential to transfer this capability to any Aegis-equipped ship," said Rear Adm. Brad Hicks, the Missile Defense Agency's Aegis BMD program director. "Participation by the Spanish crew and the Mendez Núnez demonstrate that Aegis BMD can easily be the common link to proven ballistic missile defense capability for our allies."

The flight mission was the final event of a series of tests conducted in the days preceding today's successful intercept. In the previous events, USS Decatur

+ verified Aegis BMD 3.6's performance in detecting, tracking and targeting a high altitude, anti-radiation missile target, demonstrating the system's multi-mission capability and

+ conducted simultaneous, simulated engagements against two ballistic missile targets launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. During the same event, THAAD cued USS Port Royal, and the ship's SPY-1B(V) radar augmented by BSP then acquired and tracked the ballistic missile targets.

Mendez Núnez joined USS Decatur and USS Port Royal after completing its Combat System Ship Qualification Trials (CSSQT) off the California coast with two other Aegis-equipped ships: USS Gridley (DDG 101) and Norway's Fridtjof Nansen. During the CSSQT - the first ever involving ships from three nations - the three ships operated together to test the performance of their combat systems against a variety of naval threats.

"Aegis again is delivering on its ability to protect against medium range ballistic missile targets," said Orlando Carvalho, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's Surface and Sea-Based Missile Defense line of business. "Mendez Núnez's participation builds on the demonstrated success we have had with Japan's Kongo-class Aegis-equipped ships, further using the international reach of Aegis to equip our allies with key BMD capability."

The Aegis BMD 3.6 Weapon System, including the SM-3 Block IA missile, was certified for operational deployment by the U.S. Navy in August 2006. Aegis BMD 3.6 enhances the ballistic missile defense capabilities of the current Aegis BMD fleet and adds capability in other warfare areas - as demonstrated in today's test.

The MDA and the U.S. Navy are jointly developing Aegis BMD as part of the United States' Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). Currently, seven U.S. Navy Aegis-equipped warships have the ability to conduct long range search and track and engage ballistic missiles.

Another nine Aegis warships are equipped with Aegis BMD Long Range Surveillance and Track capability. Ultimately 15 Aegis destroyers and three Aegis cruisers will be outfitted with the ability to engage short to intermediate range ballistic missile threats and support other BMDS engagements using the Aegis BMD Weapon System and the SM-3. Japan has purchased Aegis BMD capability for their Aegis destroyers and is a partner developing a larger, faster, and more capable variant of the SM-3.

The Aegis Weapon System is the world's premier naval surface defense system and is the foundation for Aegis BMD, the primary component of the sea-based element of the United States' BMDS. The Aegis BMD Weapon System seamlessly integrates the SPY-1 radar, the MK 41 Vertical Launching System, the SM-3 missile and the weapon system's command and control system. The Aegis BMD Weapon System also integrates with the BMDS, receiving cues from and providing cueing information to other BMDS elements.

The Aegis Weapon System is currently deployed on 83 ships around the globe with more than 20 additional ships planned or under contract. In addition to the U.S., Aegis is the maritime weapon system of choice for Japan, South Korea, Norway, Spain and Australia. Japan began installation of Aegis BMD in its Kongo-class Aegis destroyers in 2007.

related report
Boeing Supports Ninth Successful Intercept Test of Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System
St. Louis, June 25 - Boeing also played a key role in Friday's successful intercept of a ballistic missile target outside the Earth's atmosphere by the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) and the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system.

The test, Flight Test Maritime-12, further validated efforts by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the U.S. Navy to provide a sea-based defense against short- to medium-range ballistic missile threats.

Launched from the USS Decatur (DDG 73), the SM-3 Block IA destroyed a medium-range ballistic missile target fired from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii. It was the ninth successful intercept for SM-3 and the third intercept of a medium-range target with a separating re-entry warhead.

Boeing has partnered with Raytheon on SM-3 development since 1996 and builds and integrates several components of the SM-3 Kinetic Warhead.

"This successful test of the SM-3 continues to build confidence in system performance and clearly demonstrates the hit-to-kill missile defense capability," said Debra Rub-Zenko, vice president of Boeing Integrated Missile Defense. "Boeing is proud to be a member of the industry team committed to providing this extraordinarily effective operational capability to MDA and the Navy."

Boeing is under subcontract to integrate and test the Kinetic Warhead avionics, and guidance and control software, as well as the ejection subsystem. Raytheon provides the infrared seeker and divert attitude control system and integrates the full SM-3 interceptor.

In addition to its work on the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense program, Boeing holds key roles in several other elements of the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System architecture. Boeing is prime contractor for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system and the Airborne Laser. It also develops and produces the seeker for the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile.

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