Last Updated: 08/07/2012*

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency awarded Raytheon a $925 million contract to continue developing its Standard Missile-3 Block IIA, which adds more powerful motors, a wider body and a bigger kinetic warhead to the proven SM-3.

SM-3 Block IIA is a co-development effort between U.S. and Japan and the cornerstone of phase three of the Phased Adaptive Approach, the administration’s plan for protecting the U.S. and its allies from the threat of ballistic missile attack.

“The SM-3 IIA’s larger rocket motors will allow for a greater defended area, which is an important factor when it comes to protecting both the U.S. and our NATO allies,” said Wes Kremer, vice president of Air and Missile Defense Systems product line.

Currently, the U.S. and Japan are the only countries in the world that employ the SM-3.

Facts about the SM-3 family of missiles:

  • Deployed today, the SM-3 Block IA is the first variant of the missile.
    • The only defensive weapon of its kind, it is used by both the U.S. and Japanese navies to destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles with ranges up to 5,500 km (3,420 statute miles).
  • Scheduled to deploy in 2015, the SM-3 Block IB is the second-generation variant.
    • It has an enhanced, two-color infrared seeker and a Throttleable Divert and Attitude Control System, which uses short bursts of precision propulsion to steer the missile toward incoming targets.
    • The SM-3 Block IB just completed two back-to-back successful flight tests this summer and is on track for a 2015 deployment.
  • Scheduled to deploy in 2018, the SM-3 Block IIA will have a 21 inch 2nd and 3rd stage rocket motor and a larger, more capable kinetic warhead.
    • Earlier variants have 13.5 inch 2nd and 3rd stage rocket motors.
    • Raytheon’s partner in Japan is Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
    • All variants of the SM-3 can be launched from the same vertical launch system


Learn more about Raytheon’s SM-3 Missile Program

Learn more about Raytheon's Air & Missile Defense Systems.


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A Standard Missile-3 Block IA rockets toward space from the deck of a Japanese ship during a 2010 missile defense flight test. Raytheon is developing new versions of the missile, including the Block IIA.


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The Evolution of Standard Missile-3


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