The new next-generation Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) is scheduled to be deployed at sea and ashore by 2018.
On June 6, the United States and Japan successfully conducted a live-fire test of a jointly developed new ballistic missile interceptor at a U.S. Navy sea range.
Raytheon Co’s next-generation Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA, has been under joint development by the U.S. defense firm Raytheon and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the country’s largest defense contractor. According to IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly,Raytheon was contracted for hardware, system development, and all-up-round integration, whereas Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries focused on the missile’s second and third stage rocket motors, steering control, and the missile nosecone.
In detail, the SM-3 Block IIA is designed to destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats in space and can be deployed at land-based Aegis Ashore sites. The Raytheon company website elaborates on two distinct new features: “[L]arger rocket motors that will allow it to defend broader areas from ballistic missile threats and a larger kinetic warhead.”
Consequently, in comparison to previously developed SM-3 Block missiles, the SM-3 Block IIA “will engage threats sooner and protect larger regions from short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats,” the news release states. The missile, which works in conjunction with the U.S. Aegis combat system (also in use on Japanese naval ships), is the world’s “only ballistic missile killer deployable on land and sea,” according to the Raytheon company website.
Last week’s test was jointly announced by the Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI) of Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MOD), and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), in cooperation with the U.S. Navy illustrating the scope of joint U.S.-Japanese cooperation on this project.