Boeing [NYSE:BA] today supported the seventh successful intercept of a ballistic missile target by the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) and the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (Aegis BMD) weapon system.
The test, Aegis BMD Flight Test Maritime-10, further validated efforts by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the U.S. Navy to provide a sea-based defense against short- to medium-range ballistic missile threats. This marks the first successful demonstration of the Block IA upgrades to the SM-3 and its Kinetic Warhead (KW), including enhanced discrimination, advanced guidance navigation and control, and sea-based deployability improvements.
"This lethal intercept by the SM-3 KW is confirmation that the system is fully capable of its mission to defend our warfighters, homeland and allies against ballistic missile attacks," said Debra Rub-Zenko, vice president of Boeing Integrated Missile Defense. "I am extremely proud of the dedication by the entire team in meeting our commitments to MDA and the Navy and in securing another layer of defense for our nation."
During the test, a medium-range ballistic missile target equipped with a separating warhead was launched from the Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii. The target was detected and tracked by a U.S. Navy cruiser, the USS Shiloh (CG 67), which launched the SM-3 for an exo-atmospheric engagement. The SM-3 Kinetic Warhead successfully acquired the target and computed an accurate guidance and control intercept trajectory for the hit-to-kill intercept.
Boeing has been partnered with Raytheon on SM-3 development since 1996, and is under subcontract to integrate and test the KW hardware. Boeing is responsible for the KW avionics, guidance and control hardware and software, as well as the ejection subsystem. In addition to SM-3 round integration, Raytheon provides the KW infrared seeker, the signal and image processor and the integrated KW software.
In addition to its work on the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense program, Boeing holds key roles in several other elements of the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System architecture. Boeing is prime contractor for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system and the Airborne Laser. It also develops and produces the seeker for the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) interceptor.