U.S. Completes First Successful SM-3 Block IIA Intercept Test
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc., announced Feb. 4 that its propulsion systems supported the first intercept flight test of Raytheon’s Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA guided missile.
During the SFTM-01 flight test conducted by the U.S. Navy and Missile Defense Agency, the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor was launched from the guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones. The intercept test was designed to prove the effectiveness of the larger and faster SM-3 Block IIA variant in intercepting a medium range ballistic missile.
Aerojet Rocketdyne’s MK 72 booster provided the first-stage propulsion on the SM-3 Block IIA and the company’s Throttling Divert and Attitude Control System (TDACS) maneuvered the kinetic warhead to successfully impact the ballistic missile target.
Aerojet Rocketdyne completed a successful altitude test of the Qual-2 TDACS at the company’s Sacramento facility in September. This was the first of two planned qualification tests, and a pivotal milestone leading to the successful intercept test.
“The SM-3 Block IIA TDACS is the next evolution of the extremely successful SM-3 Block IB TDACS,” said Eileen Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne chief executive officer and president. “The SM-3 Block IIA TDACS allows a significantly greater area to be defended and is more producible.”
The SM-3 Block IIA represents the newest generation of U.S. missile defense capabilities and is a key component of the European Phased Adaptive Approach for deployment at-sea and ashore. Larger rocket motors and key technology improvements increase the area that can be defended by missile defense efforts and increase the probability of intercept against a larger threat set. With the success of this intercept flight test, the SM-3 Block IIA is on track for deployment on land and at sea in 2018.