A variant of Raytheon Technologies' Standard Missile-3 system took down an intercontinental ballistic missile during a flight test demonstration led by the Missile Defense Agency, marking the first time such technology intercepted a target outside Earth's atmosphere.
MDA employed sensors from the company's intelligence and space business for space-based early warning and used the SM-3 Block IIA ballistic missile defense system to destroy the sensor-identified target from low-Earth orbit, Raytheon Technologies said Tuesday.
"This first-of-its-kind test shows that our nation has a viable option for a new layer of defense against long-range threats," said Bryan Rosselli, vice president of strategic missile defense at the Raytheon Missiles and Defense business.
SM-3 interceptors can be fired from both ships and land are equipped with sensors, effectors, command and control and integration functions to provide the U.S. and its allies with missile defense capabilities.
Japanese company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries helped develop the Block IIA variant.