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US Navy test-fires two SM-3 missiles against one ballistic missile target

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An SM-3 Block 1B interceptor (first SM-3 test on left and second SM-3 test on right-side of the photo) is launched from the USS Lake Erie during a MDA test and successfully intercepted a complex short-range ballistic missile target off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii. Photo: MDA, US DoD.

PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE FACILITY, KAUAI, HAWAI (BNS): The US Navy, in a Missile Defense Agency test, launched two Raytheon-made Standard Missile-3 Block IBs from the USS Lake Erie against a complex, separating short-range ballistic missile target.

The first guided missile successfully destroyed the target using the sheer kinetic force of a massive collision in space.

During the test, two SM-3 interceptors were launched at a single target consecutively.

The first SM-3 eliminated the target. The second SM-3 was designed to test the ship weapons system's ability to launch multiple missiles at one time against a threat. An intercept for the second SM-3 was not part of the test scenario.

"The SM-3 Block IB is proving it can take on increasingly sophisticated scenarios, and that kind of confidence sets the stage for a production decision," Dr. Taylor Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president, was quoted as saying in the company news release.

"When this weapon deploys in 2015, the US and our allies will have a tremendously reliable, capable defensive asset on their side," Dr. Lawrence said.

The SM-3 is a defensive weapon used by the US and Japan to defend against short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

The test was the 25th successful flight test for the SM-3 programme and the fourth back-to-back successful test of the next-generation SM-3 Block IB variant, the release added.

Based on the highly successful SM-3 Block IA currently deployed around the world today, the SM-3 Block IB incorporates an enhanced two-colour infrared seeker and the Throttleable Divert and Attitude Control System, a mechanism that propels the missile toward incoming targets.

Tags:

US Navy  Raytheon  Missile  SM-3  
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