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First-of-its-kind dual missile test intercepts targets in space

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November 17, 2007

Aegis Extended Range Missile

Aegis Extended Range Missile

November 18, 2007 Raytheon's Standard Missile-3s have successfully intercepted and destroyed ballistic missiles outside the Earth’s atmosphere, the first time a Navy ship has demonstrated simultaneous engagements against such targets in space.

Raytheon Company plays a pivotal role in the United States’ anti-ballistic missile program, supplying the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System with Standard Missile-3s (SM-3).

The dual missile defense test conducted earlier this month involved two SM-3 Block 1A intercepting missiles being fired from the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG-70), while the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai launched the targets. The anti-ballistic missiles were the 10th and 11th successful intercepts for the SM-3.

"These successful intercepts add to SM-3's impressive flight test record and are a clear demonstration of Raytheon's commitment to Mission Assurance," said Frank Wyatt, Raytheon's vice president of Naval Weapon Systems. "SM-3 plays a vital role in protecting our nation against the threat of ballistic missiles." The SM-3 is being developed as part of the Missile Defense Agency's sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. The missiles will be deployed on Aegis cruisers and destroyers to defend against short-to-intermediate range ballistic missile threats in the mid-course phase of flight. Raytheon also is developing the kinetic warhead for SM-3.

Anti-ballistic missiles have been very effective against tactical ballistic missiles, most notably in the current Iraq war. However, anti-ballistic missiles are generally less effective against intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) – a problem Raytheon seeks to alleviate with the SM-3’s space targeting ability.

2 Comments

yes but can it intercept 20 thousand or more warheads simultaneously coming towards us

tampa florida

ICBM\'s are very diffucult to defend against. Just to give you an idea of this concept, try imagining hitting a 44 calibur bullet fired, with a pellet gun.

David Nichols
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