The SM-3 is a defensive weapon used by the U.S. Navy to destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The SM-3 destroys incoming ballistic missile threats by colliding with them, a concept sometimes described as “hitting a bullet with a bullet.” The impact is the equivalent of a 10-ton truck traveling at 600 mph.
In a recent test, a new version of the U.S. Navyís premier missile interceptor destroyed a complex, separating target high above the Pacific Ocean, moving the SM-3 program one step closer to a decision on full-rate production. SM-3 Block IB has an improved, two-color infrared seeker and an advanced system of guidance rockets, the Throttleable Divert and Attitude Control System, that helps steer the missileís kill vehicle into the targetís path.
The SM-3 program is a critical piece of the United States’ Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense.
SM-3 infographic and desktop wallpaper:
The Evolution of
Standard Missile 3
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Facts about the SM-3 program:
- More than 130 SM-3s have been delivered to U.S. and Japanese navies ahead of schedule and under cost.
- Raytheon is on track to deliver the next-generation SM-3 Block IB in 2015.
- SM-3 Block IB will be deployed in both sea-based and land-based modes.
The improved SM-3 Block IB has:
- A Throttleable Divert and Attitude Control System, also known as the TDACS.
- Uses short bursts of precision propulsion to steer the missile toward incoming targets
- An enhanced, two-color infrared seeker
Product Line: Air & Missile Defense