SM-3 Block IB

Aerojet Rocketdyne has delivered the 100th throttling divert and attitude control system (TDACS) for Raytheon’s standard missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB guided missile system.

Aerojet supports the third generation of sea and land-based US missile defence capabilities through offering reliable, low-risk propulsion technologies.

Aerojet Rocketdyne SM-3 TDACS programme manager Charlie Meraz said: “The delivery of the 100th TDACS marks a significant milestone in the history of the SM-3 Block IB programme and Aerojet Rocketdyne’s valued collaboration with our long-time customer, Raytheon, in ensuring the defence capabilities of our nation.

“Our TDACS team has developed and deployed the most sophisticated and innovative solid rocket propulsion system in the world, delivering a stabilised production line of high quality TDACS that continue to deliver 100% mission success with continued affordability for our customers.”

The company also provides the first and second-stage booster motors that power the Block IB kinetic warhead, which is guided by the TDACS.

“The delivery of the 100th TDACS marks a significant milestone in the history of the SM-3 Block IB programme.”

In addition to the production of MK 72 and MK 104 rocket motors and the SM-3 Block IB TDACS, Aerojet develops the TDACS for SM-3 Block IIA, the planned missile variant upgrade to the current SM-3 Blocks IA and IB guided missiles.

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The SM-3 is capable of destroying incoming ballistic missile threats in space, with an impact equivalent to a 10t truck travelling at 600mph.

The Block IB includes an enhanced two-colour infrared seeker and the Throttleable Divert and Attitude Control System, which is a mechanism that propels the missile toward incoming targets.

In May, Raytheon received a $559m contract from the Missile Defense Agency to deliver the US Navy’s SM-3 Block IB all-up rounds.

Image: A file photo showing a SM-3 Block 1B interceptor being launched from USS Lake Erie (CG 70). Photo: courtesy of US Navy.