Boeing [NYSE: BA] played a key role in today's eighth successful intercept of a ballistic missile target by the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) and the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Weapon System.
The test, Flight Test Maritime-11 Event 4 (FTM-11), 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 intermediate-range ballistic missile threats. FTM-11 Event 4 was the second test of the Block IA version of the SM-3 and the first test of the Block IA with a full-capability solid divert and attitude control system (SDACS). The SDACS maneuvers the kinetic warhead (KW) to the target using multiple pulses of gas generated by the SDACS propellant. Boeing builds several components of the KW, including the guidance electronics, which it integrates with the Raytheon infrared seeker.
"This test successfully demonstrated the modified SM-3 Kinetic Warhead's performance for the first time in an exo-atmospheric intercept. The test showed that modifications made over the last two years have been effective and the SM-3 and its Kinetic Warhead provide the system performance needed by the warfighter to defeat ballistic missile attacks," said Debra Rub-Zenko, vice president of Boeing Integrated Missile Defense. "Boeing is proud to be a member of the industry team committed to providing this extraordinarily effective operational capability to MDA and the Navy."
The SM-3 Block IA, fired from the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie, destroyed the short-range ballistic missile target launched from the Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii. Once the Aegis BMD system guided the SM-3 to the right point in space, 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 partnered with Raytheon on SM-3 development since 1996 and is under subcontract to integrate and test 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) Missile.
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