SM-3 Block IB missile

Aerojet has successfully completed qualification testing of its throttleable divert and attitude control system (TDACS) at its facility in Sacramento, California, US, in support of Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB programme.

During trials, the final TDACS unit was put through the altitude hot fire test to prove that Aerojet’s throttling solid propulsion technology is capable of operating in all environments.

Aerojet Missile Defense and Strategic Systems business unit vice president Michael Bright said that the recent test marked the last in a series of five qualification tests and final ground test verification required to support SM-3 Block IB production decisions in 2013

"These successful qualification tests reflect the significant engineering discipline used to develop Aerojet’s TDACS."

Around five TDACS units have been tested in environmental extremes and various operational duty cycles, as a part of qualification phase of the SM-3 IB programme.

Aerojet Engineering vice president Marvin Young added: "These successful qualification tests reflect the significant engineering discipline and technical excellence used to develop Aerojet’s TDACS."

Featuring hit-to-kill technology to destroy targets, the SM-3 Block IB missile has been designed to engage threat ballistic missiles during its mid-course phase.

Developed as part of MDA’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system phased adaptive approach, the SM-3 Block IB features enhanced two-colour infrared seeker, as well as TDACS that uses short bursts of precision propulsion to guide the missile toward incoming targets.

The next-generation SM-3 missile, scheduled for deployment in 2018, will be deployed on Aegis cruisers and destroyers to provide protection against short-to-intermediate-range ballistic missile threats in the mid-course phase of flight.

To date, Raytheon has delivered more than 130 SM-3s to the US and Japanese navies ahead of schedule and under budget, while the SM-3 Block IB missile is scheduled for delivery in 2015.

Image: A SM-3 Block 1B interceptor being launched from USS Lake Erie (CG 70). Photo: US Navy photo/Released.

Defence Technology