ATK and Raytheon Demonstrate SM-3 Third Stage

Released on Tuesday, April 25, 2006
United States of America
Standard SM-3 Block IA
KW - Kinetic Warhead
TSRM - Third-Stage Rocket Motor
Raytheon Company and Alliant Techsystems (ATK) successfully demonstrated the new Block IA version of a Standard Missile-3 Block IA third stage rocket motor (TSRM).

The design verification test, conducted April 24 at the Air Force Research Lab, Edwards Air Force Base, California, was the second successful test of the Block IA design and the first to be conducted in a high-altitude chamber representing the vacuum of space flight.

This test was also the second demonstration of an extended inter-pulse delay between the end of the first pulse and the initiation of the second pulse. The inter-pulse delay enhances the SM-3's flexibility to engage both short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.

The TSRM is used to boost the SM-3 out of the atmosphere and to carry the Mk142 kinetic warhead (KW) to its intended target. The SM-3 Block IA TSRM is a minor update to the fielded SM-3 Block I TSRM.

The SM-3 Block IA TSRM design primarily addresses obsolete parts, producibility and supportability upgrades. Raytheon will begin delivering SM-3 Block IA rounds this year and a flight test is planned for this summer.

The SM-3 is part of the Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system to counter ballistic missile threats in outer space. The SM-3 KW separates from the third stage during the final intercept phase to track the target with its infrared seeker and diverts to a kinetic hit-to-kill intercept.

During flight testing, the SM-3 has successfully intercepted six ballistic missile targets. SM-3 and its KW are produced by Raytheon Company at its Missile Systems business in Tucson, Arizona. ATK provides the TSRM as well as the solid divert and attitude control system for the KW under a subcontract to Raytheon.


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