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Raytheon Standard Missile 3 Demonstrates Clamshell Nosecone Design

File photo: The SM-3 on the launch pad.
by Staff Writers
Tucson AZ (SPX) Mar 09, 2006
A Raytheon Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) successfully demonstrated proper separation of an advanced clamshell nosecone during a flight test mission off Hawaii today. The test was a major milestone for the United States-Japan Joint Cooperative Research (JCR) program, sponsored by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

The clamshell nosecone is the result of joint cooperative research by the MDA, Japan Defense Agency (JDA) and U.S. and Japanese industry. Raytheon integrated the nosecone on the SM-3.

The flight test mission was conducted from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii, and did not include a target or a target interception. The USS Lake Erie launched the SM-3, which carried an instrumentation/telemetry package (ITP) instead of a kinetic warhead. The ITP measured temperature and shock during the test, and its cameras observed the nosecone's separation.

Missile operation progressed as in previous missions -- after first and second stage burnout and separation, the third stage rocket motor ignited. After the burnout of the first pulse of the third stage rocket motor, the clamshell nosecone separated.

The JCR program began in 1999 with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two nations. The U.S. and Japan identified four critical components for further research and risk reduction testing. In addition to the nosecone, the U.S. and Japan researched and tested several prototypes of a 21-inch second stage rocket motor. The two nations performed requirements analysis that led to a concept for a "full caliber" 21-inch diameter SM-3. This is the largest diameter missile that fits within the MK 41 Vertical Launching System on all U.S. and Japan Aegis warships today. In the U.S., Raytheon designed and tested an advanced throttleable divert and attitude control system. Both nations have built and tested advanced multi-color infrared seekers.

"The U.S.-Japan Joint Cooperative Research program is an excellent example of international missile defense cooperation and paves the way for continued cooperative development with Japan," said Ed Miyashiro, Raytheon vice president of Naval Weapon Systems. "Our relationship with Japan on this program has benefited both nations and provides effectively a two-for-one return on investment. It is a model for future international cooperation with other nations. There are a number of navies all over the world with Standard Missile and vertical launching systems that could employ SM-3, paving the way for a truly global ballistic missile defense capability."

Japan has decided to procure the SM-3 and the Aegis BMD (Ballistic Missile Defense) Weapon System for several of its Kongo class destroyers.

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.

Raytheon continues to deliver missiles to the Missile Defense Agency and the Navy under contract to increase the nation's inventory of operational rounds. The kinetic warhead and third stage final integration occur in Raytheon's state-of-the-art kill vehicle manufacturing facility in Tucson, alongside the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, an element of the Ground-based Missile Defense program. Final assembly and testing of SM-3 occurs at Raytheon's Camden, Ark., facility.

Related Links
Missile Defense Agency

Raytheon Delivers Missile Detection And Tracking Sensors For US Space Program
El Segundo CA (SPX) Mar 07, 2006
Raytheon has delivered the first Block 06 sensor payload for the missile-detection Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) to prime contractor Northrop Grumman. This delivery, by Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems (SAS), marks a major milestone toward the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) objective of providing a space-based tracking capability.

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