by Staff Writers
Huntsville AL (SPX) Jun 21, 2013
Raytheon has delivered the first Standard Missile-3 to the U.S. Navy from its new integration and testing facility in Huntsville, Ala., on May 23. The SM-3 missile is designed to destroy incoming short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missile threats by colliding with them in space, a concept sometimes described as "hitting a bullet with a bullet."
"SM-3 is a critical part of our nation's defense against ballistic missiles," said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems.
"SM-3s are deployed around the world today in this life-saving, defensive role. Combatant commanders consistently echo the need for more robust inventories of SM-3s in the fleet, and this factory will ensure their urgent needs are met."
Delivering both SM-3 and SM-6 interceptors, Raytheon's new $75 million, 70,000 square-foot, all-up-round production facility at Redstone Arsenal features advanced tools and the latest processes for missile production. The facility enables Raytheon to streamline processes, reduce costs and add value for the warfighter.
"Six months ago we opened the Raytheon Redstone Missile Integration Facility for business, and today we are delivering both SM-3 and SM-6 missiles to our customers," said Wes Kremer, vice president of Air and Missile Defense Systems for Raytheon Missile Systems.
"During these lean economic times," Kremer said, "Raytheon is highly focused on driving commonality across our products. Especially when it comes to our manufacturing facilities and processes, efficiency drives affordability and allows us to deliver more to the warfighter for less."
Last month, Raytheon celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Standard Missile family of interceptors, while the U.S. Navy took out a ballistic missile target using a Standard Missile-3.
The SM-3 does not contain an explosive warhead, but instead destroys the threats using sheer impact, equivalent to a 10-ton truck traveling at 600 mph.
+ More than 135 SM-3s have been delivered to U.S. and Japanese navies ahead of schedule and under cost.
+ Raytheon is on track to deploy the next-generation SM-3 Block IB guided missile in 2015.
+ SM-3 Block IB will be deployed in both afloat and ashore weapons systems.
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