The Missile Defense Agency successfully intercepted a Northrop Grumman Corporation built Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) target that was launched during a flight test from the Reagan Test Site in the Kwajalein Atoll.
FTM-44 satisfies a Congressional mandate to demonstrate that the MDA can use the Navy’s Aegis Combat System equipped with the Standard Missile 3 Block IIA (SM-3 IIA) to intercept intercontinental threats.
«As the ICBM target prime contractor for the Missile Defense Agency, we understand how critical it is to launch a realistic threat target to ensure our nation’s defense systems work when called upon», said Scott Lehr, vice president and general manager, launch and missile defense systems, Northrop Grumman. «With this successful test, the MDA has successfully demonstrated critical capabilities for the defense of our country utilizing many of Northrop Grumman’s missile defense capabilities».
Northrop Grumman is also the prime contractor on the Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) target, which is air-launched from a C-17 aircraft to provide the MDA with flexibility in mission engagement scenarios. To date, the company has supported three ICBM target launches and five IRBM target launches with 18 more on contract for future test missions with the MDA. Northrop Grumman also offers additional short, medium and long-range targets to meet evolving threats.
Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.
SM-3 Block IIA Missile Excels in First Ever ICBM Intercept Test
The Missile Defense Agency awarded Raytheon Company $87 million to purchase long-lead materials needed to produce up to 17 Standard Missile-3 Block IIAs that will be used for testing and initial deployment. A follow-on contract for the additional materials, parts and components is expected by early 2016. Raytheon’s Standard Missile-3 Block IIA is on track for deployment in 2018.
«Our Japanese partners have been tremendous allies in this development program, and together we’ve taken ballistic missile defense to the next level», said Doctor Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. «When the SM-3 Block IIA deploys in 2018, we will have a greater degree of protection than ever before».
The SM-3 Block IIA has larger rocket motors and a bigger, more capable kill vehicle that allows it to take out threats sooner in flight and protect larger regions of land. «The SM-3 Block IIA can be used at sea or on land with no modification to the missile», said Amy Cohen, Standard Missile-3 program director. «The SM-3 is the only ballistic missile defense interceptor that can be deployed both ways, and that flexibility is a tremendous asset».
The program is on track for both land and sea deployment in 2018 in line with Phase 3 of the U.S.’s Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense of U.S. deployed forces and allies in NATO Europe.
About the Standard Missile-3
SM-3s destroy incoming ballistic missile threats in space using nothing more than sheer impact, which is equivalent to a 10-ton truck traveling at 600 mph/966 km/h.
More than 230 SM-3s have been delivered to date.
SM-3 Block IB will be deployed at sea and ashore in 2015 in Romania.
SM-3 Block IIA is on track for deployment at sea and ashore in 2018 in Poland and/or Romania.