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Standard Missile-3
Quick Facts
Mobility Sea-based
Targets Short-, intermediate-range ballistic missiles; satellite interception capable
Role Area, eventually all phases missile defense
Producer Raytheon
Components Shipboard SPY-1 radar
Command and control systems
Fact
Comprising about 26% of MDA’s total FY2011 budget request, Aegis BMD is poised to be MDA’s largest single investment in a BMDS element.


The Standart Missile-3 (SM-3) is a derivative of the RIM-156 Standard SM-2 Block IV missile, and is the interceptor component of the U.S. Navy theater ballistic missile defense system, called NTW-TBMD (Navy Theater Wide - Theater Ballistic Missile Defense). It is an upper-tier ballistic missile defense weapon, originally planned to complement the lower-tier SM-2 Block IV A, but the latter has been canceled in December 2001.

The SM-3 missile, designated RIM-161A, uses the basic SM-2 Block IV A airframe and propulsion, and adds a third stage rocket motor (a.k.a. Advanced Solid Axial Starge, ASAS, made by Alliant Techsystems), a GPS/INS guidance section (a.k.a. GAINS, GPS-Aided Inertial Navigation System), and a LEAP (Lightweight Exo-Atmospheric Projectile) kinetic warhead (i.e. a non-explosive hit-to-kill warhead). The launching ships are being updated with Aegis LEAP Intercept (ALI) computer soft- and hardware.

The LEAP uses a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) sensor to locate its target, and was tested in 4-flight series called Terrier/LEAP from 1992 to 1995. These tests used modified Terrier and Standard Missile-2 missiles. Two intercepts were attempted during these tests, but the LEAP failed to hit the target in both cases. The first flight-test of an RIM-161A SM-3 missile occurred in September 1999, and the third test (in January 2001) demonstrated successful missile flight and control up to fourth stage (i.e. kinetic warhead) separation. In January 2002, the first all-up test of an RIM-161A succeeded in hitting an Aries ballistic target missile. For up-to-date information on testing see "Testing" section of our web site.
 
So far 14 out of 21 tests were successful including the satellite shoot down in February 2008.
 
Aegis BMD did not conduct any developmental intercept flight tests in fiscal year 2010, although it did participate in several other BMDS flight and ground tests to assess BMD functionality and interoperability with the BMDS. During fiscal year 2010, MDA expected to conduct FTM-15 to demonstrate Aegis 3.6’s ability to launch the SM-3 IA interceptor using data from a remote sensor against an intermediate-range ballistic missile target. However, the flight test has been delayed due to target availability.
 
New developments
 
The Department of Defense shifted in strategy for the defense of Europe from one that relied on Ground-based Midcourse Defense interceptors in Poland and the Czech Republic, to implementing the new European Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA) in which Aegis BMD became the centerpiece; the currently deployed system is Aegis BMD 3.6.1 with SM-3 IA.
 
The next generation version is Aegis BMD 4.0.1 with SM-3 IB which features an improved (two-color) target seeker, an advanced signal processor, and an improved divert/attitude control system for adjusting its course. Aegis BMD 5.0, scheduled for certification in 2014, does not add new functionality, but is designed to integrate Aegis BMD 4.0.1 with the Navy’s open architecture system, which would enable any Aegis ship to perform the BMD mission.
 
Aegis 4.0.1, with the SM-3 IB interceptor and TDACS system (Throttleable Divert Attitude Control System), is expected to have increased discrimination, engagement coordination, threat missile range capability and raid capacity while the new land-based version—Aegis Ashore—will have its first configuration as Aegis BMD 5.0 with SM-3 IB, scheduled to become operational in fiscal year 2015. Aegis BMD 5.0 will not provide new mission capability; instead it will leverage the Navy’s Aegis modernization effort, which transitions the cruisers’ and destroyers’ computers and displays from military standard to commercial-off-the-shelf components.
Aegis 4.0.1, with the SM-3 IB interceptor and TDACS system (Throttleable Divert Attitude Control System), is expected to have increased discrimination, engagement coordination, threat missile range capability and raid capacity while the new land-based version—Aegis Ashore—will have its first configuration as Aegis BMD 5.0 with SM-3 IB, scheduled to become operational in fiscal year 2015. Aegis BMD 5.0 will not provide new mission capability; instead it will leverage the Navy’s Aegis modernization effort, which transitions the cruisers’ and destroyers’ computers and displays from military standard to commercial-off-the-shelf components.
 
The modernization effort will increase the number of cruisers and destroyers that have the potential to be BMD capable from 27 to 84, and the installation of Aegis 5.0 in conjunction with the modernization will add the BMD capability. Once Aegis 5.0 is available, Aegis ships with version 3.6.1 may be upgraded directly to 5.0, instead of undergoing an interim installation of 4.0.1 (estimated at $52 million per ship).
 
Although it does not add new mission capability, the migration into an open architecture environment requires significant modification and testing of 8 of 10 major components of the Aegis weapons system.
 

Specifications
 
Data for Standard Missile-3:
  • Length (incl. booster) 21 ft 6 in
  • Finspan 61.8 in
  • Diameter 13.5 in
  • Speed 6000 mph
  • Ceiling > 100 miles
  • Range > 270 nm
  • Propulsion Booster: United Technologies MK 72 solid-fueled rocket
  • Sustainer: Atlantic Research Corp. MK 104 dual-thrust solid-fueled rocket
  • 3rd stage: Alliant Techsystem MK 136 solid-fueled rocket
  • Warhead hit-to-kill kinetic warhead (KW)
This data present a rough overview, concrete specifications are dependent on the variant of the missile.
Sources: http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-161.html and GAO Report to Congressional Committees (March 2011)
 
 
 



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