Aerojet Rocketdyne Propulsion Critical to Successful Intercept Test for SM-3 Block IIA Missile

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Aerojet Rocketdyne’s propulsion systems supported a key intercept test of Raytheon’s Standard Missile-3 Block IIA guided missile, the company said in an Oct. 26 release.

During the FTM-45 flight test, conducted by the U.S. Navy and Missile Defense Agency, the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor was launched from USS John Finn (DDG 113). The intercept test was designed to further prove the effectiveness of the larger and faster SM-3 Block IIA variant in intercepting a medium-range ballistic missile.

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Mk72 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.

“We are proud that our TDACS and Mk72 booster played key propulsion roles in demonstrating the capabilities of the SM-3 Block IIA to defend our nation,” said Eileen Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president. “We are excited to support the transition to production for the advanced SM-3 Block IIA interceptor that provides increased range, velocity and capability.”

This second intercept for the SM-3 Block IIA is a success we share with the Missile Defense Agency and the country of Japan, our cooperative development partners,” said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. “Together, we are building the most advanced solutions for ballistic missile defense.”

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. Deployment of larger rocket motors and key technology improvements increases the area that can be defended and improves the probability of intercept against a larger threat set.