A Raytheon-built RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) target at sea as part of a multinational operational exercise off the coast of Scotland, the company announced.
The missile was fired from a U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) during a NATO-led exercise, Formidable Shield 17.
The Formidable Shield 17 (FS17) was an integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) exercise simulating real-life threat scenarios. The event, supported by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and U.S. Navy, was designed to evaluate the ability of allied navies’ ballistic missile and air warfare defenses to work together quickly and effectively to defeat incoming threats.
In addition to the SM-3 intercept, Standard Missile-2 and RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) conducted simulated target engagements of cruise missiles.
“Real-world events demand real-world testing,” said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. “Strong cooperation between allied nations and industry helps ensure we are ready to defeat complex threats around the world.”
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States were among the NATO nations that participated in Formidable Shield. The exercise built upon a previous At Sea Demonstration in 2015, with a focus on real-world operations.
The SM-3 interceptor is deployed at sea as part of the U.S. contribution to Europe’s ballistic missile defense. The first land-based SM-3 site became fully operational in Romania in 2016, and the Poland site is expected to be in service next year.
RIM-161 Standard Missile 3
RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) is a ship-based missile system used by the United States Navy to intercept short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles as a part of Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.
Although primarily designed as an anti-ballistic missile, the SM-3 has also been employed in an anti-satellite capacity against a satellite at the lower end of low Earth orbit.
The SM-3 is primarily used and tested by the United States Navy and also operated by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.