SM-3 missile

Raytheon has successfully completed the throttleable divert and attitude control system (TDACS) preliminary design review (PDR) for the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missile, with the system advancing to the critical design review stage.

Raytheon Missile Systems’ Air and Missile Defense Systems product line vice president Wes Kremer said the design detail and test data presented at the PDR demonstrated that the TDACS is ready for the next phase of development.

TDACS will enable the SM-3 Block IIA to intercept incoming ballistic missiles with pinpoint accuracy using its precision propulsion capability and features four main divert nozzles and six attitude control nozzles.

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The very small lightweight actuators, developed by General Dynamics (GD) Ordnance and Tactical Systems, provide lateral motion, roll, yaw and pitch control, which guide the kinetic warhead to a precision strike on a target and controls the pintles TDACS throttle thrust.

Raytheon placed orders with Aerojet for the development of a new, more advanced TDACS for the SM-3 Block IIA missiles in November 2011.

The SM-3 Block IIA is an anti-ballistic missile that can be launched from ground stations or ships and features second and third-stage rocket motors, as well as a larger advanced kinetic warhead for increased engagement capability and greater range.

The early intercept capability SM-3 Block IIA missile is designed as part of phase two of the current administration’s Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defence.

The missile will be equipped with larger second and third-stage rocket motors to provide defence against sophisticated threats.

The 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.

More than 130 SM-3s have been delivered by Raytheon to the US and Japanese navies to date, ahead of schedule and under cost.

Image: During a Missile Defense Agency ballistic missile flight test, SM-3 missile is being launched from an Aegis equipped destroyer. Image: United States Navy.