USA: $14.2 million contract for Raytheon as part of the SM-3 Block IB standard missile program

The Missile Defense Agency awarded Raytheon with a $14.2 million contract modification to provide continued support and engineering for the Standard Missile SM-3 Block IB program. The SM-3 is a ship-based missile system used to intercept short and intermediate range ballistic missiles as a part of Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.

USA 14.2 million contract for Raytheon as part of the SM 3 Block IB standard missile program A Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) is launched from the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70), during a joint Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Navy ballistic missile flight test. Approximately three minutes later, the SM-3 intercepted a unitary (non-separating) ballistic missile threat target, launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii (Picture source: Lt. Chris Bishop Deputy Director/ U.S. Navy)

The interceptor uses sheer force, rather than an explosive warhead, to destroy its target. Its “kill vehicle” hits threats with the force of a 10-ton truck traveling 600 mph. This technique, referred to as “hit-to-kill,” has been likened to intercepting a bullet with another bullet.

The SM-3 Block IB interceptor 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.

Work will take place in Tucson, Arizona and is scheduled to be completed by October this year.

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