Press Release

Aerojet Rocketdyne Supports Inaugural Standard Missile-3 Block IB Guided Missile Aegis Ashore Launch

By SpaceRef Editor
May 22, 2014
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Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (GY) company, announced today that its propulsion systems successfully contributed to the intercept of a virtual target during the first test of Raytheon’s Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB guided missile from the Aegis Ashore weapon system.

The successful test was conducted at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, to demonstrate the safe launch and fly-out capability of the SM-3 Block IB guided missile. The land-based system uses the same SM-3 missile deployed on Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense cruisers and destroyers today, defending against short-to-intermediate range ballistic missile threats in the mid-course phase of flight.

During the non-intercept test, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s booster and dual-thrust rocket motor provided the first- and second-stage propulsion for the SM-3 Block IB guided missile, while Aerojet Rocketdyne’s innovative Throttling Divert and Attitude Control System (TDACS) maneuvered the kinetic warhead to impact a virtual target. This important test provided an opportunity to gather atmospheric heating conditions in the lowest TDACS ejection scenario conducted to date.

“Benchmarking the performance of the SM-3 Block IB TDACS and 1st and 2nd stage propulsion, regardless of basing mode, increases the confidence in the system,” said Michael Bright, vice president of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Missile Defense and Strategic Systems Business Unit. “Testing the boundaries of the design envelope is the focus of these tests. My confidence in the performance, and the ability of these Aerojet Rocketdyne products to continue to meet the evolving demand placed on the system, is reinforced by these successful tests. We continue to work with Raytheon and the Missile Defense Agency to bring the price of the system down and maintain the system reliability needed to meet the demand of the warfighter.”

In concert with Raytheon, Aerojet Rocketdyne is developing the next generation of sea- and land-based U.S. missile defense capabilities by providing reliable, low-risk propulsion technologies.

Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader providing propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. GenCorp is a diversified company that provides innovative solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense, and real estate markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne and GenCorp can be obtained by visiting the companies’ websites at and

SpaceRef staff editor.