Standard Missile-3 is the world's only ballistic missile killer deployable on land or at sea.
SM-3® is a defensive weapon used by the U.S. Navy to destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats. This 'hit-to-kill' missile interceptor uses an exoatmospheric "kill vehicle," to collide with targets in space, a capability that's been likened to hitting a bullet with a bullet. The massive collision of the kill vehicle hitting its target obliterates the threat completely; explosives are not necessary. The resulting impact is the equivalent of a 10-ton truck traveling at 600 mph.
FTM-21 Navy Ship Launches Two Missile Defenders Against Target in Unprecedented Test.
The SM-3 program is a critical piece of the United States' Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense. Currently, U.S. Navy ships carrying SM-3s deployed off Europe's coast provide the continent's only "upper tier" defense from the growing threat of ballistic missiles.
In 2013, the SM-3 Block IB successfully finished a highly lauded, aggressive testing schedule putting the program's record of space intercepts at 26. More than 155 Standard Missile-3 interceptors have been delivered to U.S. and Japanese navies.
SM-3 Block IB
The SM-3 Block IB has an enhanced two-color infrared seeker and upgraded steering and propulsion capability that uses short bursts of precision propulsion to direct the missile toward incoming targets.
Raytheon is on track to deliver the next-generation SM-3 Block IB in 2015. It will be deployed in both sea-based and land-based modes.
SM-3 Block IIA
The new Standard Missile-3 Block IIA is being developed in cooperation with Japan and will be deployable on land as well as at sea. It has two distinct new features: larger rocket motors that will allow it to defend broader areas from ballistic missile threats and a larger kinetic warhead.
SM-3 Block IIA is the centerpiece of the European missile defense system, and Raytheon is on track to begin flight testing in 2015.
SM-3 can be either sea or land based. For countries that do not have a ballistic missile defense-enabled navy, but still have ballistic missile defense requirements, land-based SM-3 is a viable solution.
Land-based SM-3 is a good value, because it protects larger areas with fewer interceptor sites when compared to lower tier missile defense solutions. In addition, the missile's higher intercepts allow extra time for decision making.
Raytheon's Ballistic Missile Defense Systems Provide Layered Defense Around the World.
Listen to an interview with Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance Chairman Riki Ellison on Aegis Ashore
The Evolution of
Standard Missile 3