Raytheon has received a $559m contract from the Missile Defense Agency to deliver the US Navy’s Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB all-up rounds.
Under this not-to-exceed sole-source undefinitised contract action (UCA), Raytheon will initially supply 44 SM-3 guided missiles with the total number of missiles slated to increase to 52 on UCA definitisation.
In addition, the company will provide the work required to produce and deliver the third stage rocket motor reliability, growth, and design improvements.
Raytheon Missile Systems senior programme director Mitch Stevison said: "We’ve consistently demonstrated the SM-3 Block IB’s quality, and now combatant commanders are focused on building up their quantities.
"This contract award reflects the confidence the Missile Defense Agency has in this missile’s regional ballistic missile defence protection."
The final assembly of the SM-3 Block IB is carried out at its SM-6 and SM-3 all-up-round production facility at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, US.
The SM-3 is capable of destroying incoming ballistic missile threats in space, with an impact equivalent to a 10t truck travelling at 600mph.
The Block IB includes an enhanced two-colour infrared seeker and the Throttleable Divert and Attitude Control System, which is a mechanism that propels the missile toward incoming targets.
Currently, the SM-3 Block IB is scheduled for land-based deployment in Romania this year.
This development is part of the second phase of the Phased Adaptive Approach, which is the US missile defence plan in Europe.
In March, Raytheon began updating its SM-3 Block IBs with new threat upgrade software, in a bid to enhance its lethal capability against advanced threats.
Image: A RIM-161 Standard Missile (SM-3) is launched from the Aegis cruiser, USS Lake Erie. Photo: courtesy of Lt. Chris Bishop Deputy Director, US Navy photo (RELEASED).