The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has selected Aerojet to develop advanced solid divert and attitude control system (SDACS) technologies in support of the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIB interceptor.
Under the development contract, Aerojet will enhance SDACS technology in order to increase flight duration, mission flexibility and overall performance for the SM-3 IIB missile.
The contract will also assist in reducing technical risk for the future SM-3 IIB missile product development phase.
Gencorp Advanced Programs vice president Marshall Cousineau said: "This SDACS risk reduction technology programme is a key element of MDA's strategy for early demonstration of shipboard-compatible technologies for the SM-3 IIB missile that can be based on land or at sea.
"Aerojet will build upon the successes of our flight-demonstrated SM-3 Block IB TDACS and development underway on our SM-3 Block IIA TDACS to provide MDA with an efficient programme that will extend the state-of-the-art technology for the Block IIB mission."
Expected to provide early intercept capabilities against intermediate and long-range ballistic missile threats, the SM-3 Block IIB missile is a major part of the US Department of Defense's (DoD) phased adaptive approach fourth phase.
The missile will be equipped into the Aegis Weapon System, with the Aegis BMD 5.1 fire-control and the Mk41 vertical launching system.
Multiple contracts have been awarded by the US MDA for the concept definition and planning phase of the SM-3 IIB programme.
Full development and flight testing will be carried out in 2013 and is scheduled to be operational in 2020.