WASHINGTON The United States and Japan on Tuesday conducted a second successful test of Raytheon Co’s new Regular Missile-three (SM-3) Block IIA missile that is getting jointly created by the two nations, according to two sources familiar with the test.
In the course of the test off the coast of Southern California near Malibu, the missile opened its new sensor seeker in space for the 1st time and utilized new altitude control rockets to target a star, stated a single of the sources, who was not authorized to speak publicly.
No intercept was planned for this test and no target missile was launched, but numerous intercept tests will following in coming years, mentioned the source.
The United States spent just more than $ two billion on the SM-three IIA weapons system, although Japan contributed about $ 1 billion, according to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.
The new missile is a 21-inch variant of an earlier SM-three missile and functions with the U.S. Aegis combat system built by Lockheed Martin Corp to destroy incoming ballistic missile threats in space.
Tuesday’s test marked yet another milestone toward deployment of the missile on U.S. Aegis destroyers and Japan’s Kongo ships in coming years, as properly as the U.S. Aegis Ashore site in Poland in 2018.
The test also validated the new sensor seeker developed for the redesigned kill car, or warhead, that will at some point replace the ones now used on the U.S. fleet of ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California that are component of the U.S. homeland missile defense technique, the sources mentioned.
Neither Raytheon nor the U.S. Missile Defense Agency had any quick comment.
Raytheon’s new SM-3 IIA missile has larger rocket motors and a much more capable kill vehicle that would permit the missile to engage threats sooner and safeguard bigger regions from quick- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats.
On Tuesday, the Pentagon announced that Raytheon was awarded a contract for a lot more than $ 543 million for 17 SM-three IIA missiles.
(Further reporting by Idrees Ali Editing by Leslie Adler and David Gregorio)