The U.S. Navy has begun using a Raytheon-built weapon system designed to intercept ballistic missile threats.
Navy personnel deployed the Standard Missile-3 Block IB interceptor in collaboration with the Missile Defense Agency, Raytheon said Sunday.
“The SM-3 Block IB’s completion of initial operational testing last year set the stage for a rapid deployment to theater,” said Taylor Lawrence, president of Raytheon’s missile systems business.
Raytheon says the deployment is part two of a Phased Adaptive Approach program and follows a March 2011 launch of SM-3 Block IAs on board the USS Monterey cruiser.
The weapon has completed 26 intercept operations in space to date, according to Raytheon.
The SM-3 Block IB will be demonstrated with the Aegis defense weapon system at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii this year.