Raytheon highlighted its ability to pursue targets into space on Monday, announcing a $636 million contract for exo-atmospheric kill vehicles, advances in its Standard Missile-3 and a new planning tool for Europe’s missile defense.
The kill vehicle deal, announced at the Farnborough Air Show, calls for Raytheon to build more of the devices for Boeing’s Ground Based Interceptor rocket.
“When it comes to developing, testing and deploying technologies that enable the intercept of threats in space, Raytheon is a world leader,” said Wes Kremer, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems’ Air and Missile Defense Systems product line.
The contract comes just weeks after Raytheon successfully destroyed a target off the coast of Hawaii with its new Standard Missile-3 Block 1B. The Block 1B features another type of exo-atmospheric seeker equipped with a two-color infrared sensor and a highly accurate, 10-nozzle motor.
Raytheon’s Standard Missile-3 interceptor is the centerpiece of the Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense in Europe. Over the next decade, the plan calls for the deployment of increasing numbers of SM-3s at sea and on land to provide Europe, and ultimately the United States, with a strong missile defense shield.
Deployed today on U.S. and Japanese ships, SM-3 is designed to intercept and destroy threat ballistic missiles in space. Traveling at thousands of miles an hour, the SM-3 kill vehicle ejects from the missile’s nosecone and collides with the threat ballistic missile warhead – obliterating it.
Boasting a nearly 90 percent successful flight test record, Raytheon’s SM-3 Block 1A is currently fielded and in production. The company is now developing SM-3 Block 1B and SM-3 Block 2A. Both of these new missile variants will provide even greater protection.
On Monday Raytheon also unveiled a new missile defense system architectural analysis tool designed to help identify the best ways to position current NATO assets in support of growing Europe’s integrated air and missile defense capabilities.
The analysis tool was built leveraging Raytheon’s extensive knowledge of sensors, interceptors and command systems.
The assets in place today provide Europe with an initial shield of protection, but NATO assets are needed to make that shield more robust, Kremer said.
“What this really does is gives us the ability to do what-if scenarios,” Kremer told reporters at the Farnborough Airshow. “We’ve developed this tool that allows us to look at the entire missile defense architecture and evaluate it, and understand those layers.”
The analysis tool is flexible and can incorporate any element or geographical deployment to show the system’s effectiveness for various mission scenarios.