Standard Missile-3

Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully completed fully integrated flight weight system hot fire test of its second throttling divert and attitude control system (TDACS) in support of the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA programme.

During the trial conducted at the company’s facility in Sacramento, California, US, the second SM-3 Block IIA TDACS unit was put through the altitude hot fire test.

The recent successful test demonstrates the SM-3 Block IIA TDACS design readiness for the critical design review (CDR) phase of the programme.

Aerojet Rocketdyne Missile Defense and Strategic Systems Business Unit SM-3 programmes executive director, Dave Parker, said the company has conducted two successful hot fire tests in two months and demonstrated the maturity of the design.

“Using lessons learned from the SM-3 Block IB guided missile programme, we used a hardware-rich development programme for critical risk reduction testing, and utilised production-level drawings integrated and assembled by the technicians that would be doing the work,” Parker said.

“We used a hardware-rich development programme for critical risk reduction testing and utilised production-level drawings.”

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.

“So far the approach is working, our upcoming CDR will be the complete validation of that approach.”

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.

The SM-3 missile is capable of destroying 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.

Image: a SM-3 missile being is launched from USS Lake Erie (CG 70). Photo: courtesy of US Navy.

Defence Technology