Aerojet Rocketdyne's throttling divert and attitude control system (TDACS) has successfully completed the critical design review (CDR) for the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA guided missile programme.
The CDR completion follows recent successful completion of fully integrated flight weight system hot fire test of second TDACS.
Aerojet Rocketdyne's Missile Defense and Strategic Systems business unit SM-3 programmes executive director, Dave Parker, said the on-time CDR completion demonstrates the next generation propulsion system readiness for qualification testing and subsequent manufacturing.
"We're extremely proud of our TDACS product line, knowing that soldiers will have the pinpoint control needed to defend the US and its allies," Parker said.
A cooperative development effort between US Department of Defense (DoD) and Japan Ministry of Defense (MoD), the SM-3 Block IIA missile will be deployed as part of Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System phased adaptive approach.
The SM-3 missile can destroy targets using hit-to-kill technology and strike threat ballistic missiles during the mid-course phase of an incoming missile outside of Earth's atmosphere.
"The proven SM-3 Block IB TDACS flight test performance coupled with our Block IIA TDACS ground test performance validates this state-of-the-art propulsion technology for future DACS systems," Parker added.
Due to be deployed in 2018, the SM-3 Block IIA missile will have a 21in second and thirrd stage rocket motor as well as a larger, more capable kinetic warhead.
All the SM-3 variants have been designed to be launched from the same vertical launch system.
Work on the SM-3 Block IIA TDACS is being performed at the company's facility in Sacramento, US, while the programme is being managed by the MDA and Raytheon Missile Systems as the prime contractor.
Image: a modified tactical SM-3 being launched from USS Lake Erie (CG 70). Photo: courtesy of US Navy.