Raytheon’s SM-3 Block IIA Missile Accomplishes Initial Intercept Flight Test

A Raytheon defensive missile has completed the first U.S. Navy and Missile Defense Agency flight test that sought to evaluate its capacity to intercept ballistic missile threats.

Raytheon said Saturday the USS John Paul Jones guided missile destroyer launched the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA during the test to intercept a land-launched target.

The demonstration sought to evaluate the performance of the SM-3 missile system including the kinetic warhead, divert and attitude control system, nosecone, steering control, booster and second- and third-stage motor separation.

Taylor Lawrence, president of Raytheon’s missile systems business unit, said the test serves to mature the U.S. ballistic missile defense functionality and moves the SM-3 Block IIA program toward deployment at sea and ashore by 2018.

The SM-3 was outfitted with an updated kinetic warhead to help counter a variety of short- and intermediate-range ballistic missile threats over a larger coverage area, as well as bolster its search, discrimination, acquisition and tracking functions, Raytheon noted.

The company added the missile will undergo additional flight tests as part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach Phase 3.

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