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.
Land Based SM-3
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. Starting this year, the first land-based SM-3 site will become operational in Romania, further enhancing Europe's protection
The flexibility of SM-3 to be both land- and sea-based offers countries that do not have ballistic missile defense-enabled navies to take advantage of the SM-3's incredible capacity to protect large areas of land, often referred to as regional defense, with fewer interceptor sites when compared to other "lower tier" missile defense solutions.
Whether on land or at sea, the SM-3 continues to excel in testing. In 2014, the SM-3 Block IB was successfully launched for the first time from an Aegis Ashore testing site in Hawaii. Later in the year, an SM-3 destroyed a short-range ballistic missile target during a highly complex integrated air and missile defense exercise in the Pacific.
The program has more than 25 successful space intercepts, and more than 240 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. It became operational in 2014, deploying for the first time on U.S. Navy ships worldwide.
SM-3 Block IIA
The next-generation SM-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 Company began flight testing in 2015 to keep the program on track for 2018 deployment at sea and on land in Poland.
The Evolution of Standard Missile-3
Learn more about Raytheon's Missile Defense Solutions.
FTO-02 E1a Flight Test
CTV-02 Flight Test
Raytheon's ballistic missile defense systems provide layered defense around the world.