General Dynamics said Monday its mission systems unit will provide optical hardware to Raytheon's missiles and defense business for integration into the SM-3 Block IB and IIA interceptors.
John Schulz, director of structures at GDMS, noted that the company's optical systems are "one-third the weight of aluminum and six times stiffer than steel."
Both missile iterations are designed to use seekers for navigation and to shoot down targets with sheer force using the "hit-to-kill" approach.
The Block IB variant is intended to defend against short to intermediate ballistic missiles, while the Block IIA can support interceptions at a high altitude engages and was able to engage an intercontinental ballistic missile target during a recent flight demonstration.
U.S. and Japanese navies have received more than 400 SM-3 interceptors to date, according to Raytheon.