Raytheon has received a $2.1 billion, multi-year contract from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to produce and deliver SM-3 Block IB interceptor missiles.
It is the first multi-year contract for the SM-3 program and covers fiscal years 2019–2023.
SM-3 is the only ballistic missile interceptor that can be launched on land and at sea. It is deployed worldwide and has achieved more than 30 exoatmospheric intercepts against ballistic missile targets. The Block IB variant achieved full-rate production in 2017. The company has delivered more than 400 SM-3 rounds over the lifetime of the program.
“This procurement deal is a win-win for government and industry,” said Dr. Mitch Stevison, Raytheon Strategic and Naval Systems vice president. “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.”
The SM-3 interceptor is a defensive weapon the U.S. Navy uses to destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
The interceptor uses sheer force, rather than an explosive warhead, to destroy its target. Its “kill vehicle” hits threats with the force of a 10-ton truck traveling 600 mph. This technique, referred to as “hit-to-kill,” has been likened to intercepting a bullet with another bullet.
The SM-3 Block IB interceptor has an enhanced two-color infrared seeker and upgraded steering and propulsion capability that uses short bursts of precision propulsion to direct the missile toward incoming targets. It became operational in 2014, deploying for the first time on U.S. Navy ships worldwide.