The Missile defence Agency just awarded Raytheon $925 million for development of the newest version of the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3), which will improve on the already hugely successful SM-3 designs in service right now. This project will be a collaboration between Japan and the United States. The two navies use the SM-3 to potentially destroy short and intermediate range ballistic missiles.
Currently, the SM-3 Block IA is in service and the Block IB will be by installed 2015. This new version is an upgrade, the Block IIA.
So far, the SM-3 program has had 21 successful missile interceptions. Destroying incoming ballistic missiles, often referred to as the “hitting a bullet with a bullet” problem, is remarkably difficult.
We took a look at what the SM-3 does.
The missile connects with the command centre on the ship right after launch, receiving guidance from the AEGIS system
Back on earth, the final commands from AEGIS are relayed to the missile so that it can successfully intercept
The energy of the impact is calculated to be 125 megajoules, equivalent to a 10 ton truck slamming into a wall going 600mph
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