The United States and Japan successfully concluded a flight test of a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA off the west coast of Hawaii on February 3, the U.S. Missile Defence Agency (MDA) announced recently.
According to the MDA, a next-generation SM-3, launched from a US warship, destroyed an incoming ballistic missile target.
A medium-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones “detected and tracked the target missile with its onboard AN/SPY-1D(V) radar using the Aegis Baseline 9.C2 weapon system. Upon acquiring and tracking the target, the ship launched an SM-3 Block IIA guided missile which intercepted the target.”
This was the third flight test and the first intercept test of a SM-3 Block IIA, the most advanced version of the SM-3 “hit-to-kill” interceptor.
The missile interceptor is designed to destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats and can be deployed at land-based Aegis Ashore sites and Aegis-equipped warships.
The latest of different variants of the SM-3 features a larger rocket motor and a larger kinetic warhead.