Standard Missile-3 Block IIA obliterates target in latest intercept test

Interceptor defends against sophisticated threats

Pacific Missile Range Facility, Hawaii October 26, 2018 Photo(s): By Raytheon

The US Navy and Missile Defense Agency completed the second successful intercept of a ballistic missile target by a Raytheon Company SM-3® Block IIA missile, the next-gen variant that defeats missile threats outside the earth's atmosphere.

USS John Finn (DDG-113) crew members launched the SM-3 IIA missile, which engaged and destroyed a land-launched target resembling an advanced ballistic missile. The primary objective was a successful intercept, and the mission also evaluated the system's overall performance.

"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 IIA variant has larger rocket motors and a bigger kinetic warhead, raising its effectiveness against evolving threats. SM-3 is the only ballistic missile interceptor that can be launched at sea and on land.