Raytheon's Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA has successfully completed its second flight test at the US Navy's Point Mugu Sea Range on Saint Nicolas Island, California.
An SM-3 Block IIA was launched from a MK 41 launcher during the Controlled Test Vehicle-02 flight test scenario, which excluded a target intercept.
Conducted by the US Navy and Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the testing marks the next-generation SM-3 Block IIA missile's progress towards its first intercept test in 2016.
The testing assessed SM-3 Block IIA's kinetic warhead and divert and attitude control system functionality, nosecone performance, steering control section function, booster separation, and second and third stage rocket motor separation.
Raytheon Missile Systems president Dr Taylor W Lawrence said: "The SM-3 Block IIA programme continues to reflect the MDA's commitment to maturing this capability for the defence of our nation, deployed forces, and our allies abroad.
"The success of this test keeps the programme on track for deployment at sea and ashore in the 2018 timeframe."
Designed as part of phase two of the current administration's phased adaptive approach for missile defence, the SM-3 Block IIA missile can be launched from ground stations or ships to provide increased engagement capability and greater range.
During the next live-fire test in 2016, which will include an intercept of a ballistic missile target, the missile will be fired from a US Navy warship.
The SM-3 Block IB will be deployed ashore by end of this year in Romania.
In September, Raytheon secured a contract from the MDA to acquire long-lead materials required to manufacture up to 17 SM-3 Block IIAs to be used for testing and initial deployment.