by Staff Writers
Tucson AZ (SPX) Feb 23, 2011
Raytheon and Aerojet have completed a kinetic warhead system integration test for Standard Missile-3 Block IB. The test verified the ability of the warhead to detect, track and intercept a moving ballistic missile target in a zero-gravity environment.
During the test, a fully operational, flight-weight kinetic warhead operated on an air-bearing test stand and performed in a high-altitude chamber at Aerojet's Sacramento, Calif., facility. The kinetic warhead's seeker tracked a simulated target while the guidance computer sent information to the new Throttleable Divert and Attitude Control System.
Once the TDACS received the information, the system fired its divert and attitude control thrusters and maintained aim on the target during the entire test sequence, simulating an actual flight mission.
"The test demonstrated the fire control loop of the kinetic warhead on the ground, which is a key indicator that we're on track for the first SM-3 Block IB intercept in space this year," said Frank Wyatt, vice president of Raytheon's Air and Missile Defense Systems product line.
"The Raytheon SM-3 team remains committed to mission assurance for this important program. Raytheon has the right people, the best supply base, the most robust production facilities and the expertise to deliver this critical capability to the fleet in 2012."
Raytheon's next-generation SM-3 Block IB maintains the reliability of the Block IA variant while incorporating an advanced two-color infrared seeker, an advanced signal processor and a new TDACS.
SM-3 Block IB will be deployed in both sea-based and land-based modes as part of phase two of the current administration's Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense.
Raytheon is developing SM-3 as part of the Missile Defense Agency's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, and more than 130 SM-3s have been delivered to date.
The missiles are deployed with both the U.S. and Japanese navies to defend against short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats in the ascent and midcourse phases of flight.
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