Raytheon has secured a $2.1bn contract from the US Missile Defense Agency to produce and deliver Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB interceptors.

This is the first multi-year contract for the SM-3 programme. It covers fiscal years 2019–2023.

Raytheon Strategic and Naval Systems vice-president Dr Mitch Stevison said: “This procurement deal is a win-win for government and industry.

“Efficiencies gained from this contract will allow us to reduce costs, continue to improve the SM-3, and deliver an important capability to our military.”

SM-3 is the only ballistic missile interceptor with the capability to be launched on land and at sea. It is used by the US Navy to destroy short range ballistic missile (SRBM) and intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM).

Deployed across the world, the ballistic missile has achieved more than 30 exo-atmospheric intercepts against its ballistic missile targets.

A full-rate production of the Block IB variant of the missile was achieved in 2017. Raytheon has successfully delivered more than 400 SM-3 rounds over the lifetime of the programme.

SM-3 Block II A is a variant of the SM-3 Block IB missile. The variant missile features a larger rocket motor with a larger kinetic interceptor.

The development and production of these missiles commenced in 2006 under the joint partnership of Raytheon and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

In November 2018, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency proposed a deal of foreign military sale (FMS) of eight SM- 3 Block IB weapon systems and 13 SM-3 Block IIA missiles to Japan for an estimated $561m.

Tests of the improved Raytheon SM-3 Block IB third-stage rocket motor were completed in May 2016 and were conducted by US Missile Defense Agency.