Press Release

Raytheon Standard Missile-3 Intercepts Challenging Ballistic Missile Target

By SpaceRef Editor
November 18, 2005
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A Raytheon Company-produced Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) destroyed a ballistic missile target outside the earth’s atmosphere during a Missile Defense Agency / Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program flight test over the Pacific Ocean. It was the sixth successful intercept for the Aegis BMD program using the SM-3.

The Nov. 17 mission was the first test against a separating ballistic missile target. The SM-3 Block I initial deployment round used in the test was an operational missile delivered by Raytheon last year for testing and availability for emergency deployment.

In the operationally realistic scenario, the SM-3 was launched from USS Lake Erie, an Aegis BMD cruiser, and hit the target missile that had been launched from the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii. The ship’s crew was not informed of the target launch time and operational testers observed the exercise to ensure a realistic wartime environment.

“SM-3 continues to perform flawlessly in increasingly challenging scenarios. This test, using a missile right from the Navy’s inventory, was conducted in operational conditions,” said Edward Miyashiro, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president, Naval Weapon Systems. “Continued success provides confidence that the nation can increase the number of systems deployed and make missile capability improvements. We are even seeing our international allies taking a closer look at SM-3 for their homeland defense. Sea-based ballistic missile defense provides a global capability.”

Japan has decided to procure SM-3 and the Aegis BMD system for its Kongo class ships.

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 under contract to increase the nation’s inventory of operational rounds. The kinetic warhead seeker and 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 occurs at Raytheon’s Camden, Ark., facility.

Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN – News), with 2004 sales of $20.2 billion, is an industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 80,000 people worldwide.

Note to Editors:

Raytheon’s missile defense hit-to-kill successes with the Standard Missile-3 occurred on Jan. 25, June 13 and Nov. 21, 2002; Dec. 11, 2003; and Feb. 24, 2005. Successes with the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, part of the Ground-based Missile Defense program, occurred on Oct. 2, 1999; July 13 and Dec. 3, 2001; and March 15 and Oct. 14, 2002.

SpaceRef staff editor.