A guided missile interceptor developed by Raytheon's missile systems business and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as well as supported by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory has been approved by the Department of Defense to undergo initial production efforts.
APL said Friday it carries out risk assessment, analysis and experimental services in various areas as the technical direction agent for the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA program. The lab also builds prototype technologies in a move to create a proof of concept to address potential technological gaps.
SM-3 Block IIA measures 21 inches in diameter and houses a large kinetic warhead, a second and third-stage rocket motor along with augmented search and tracking features. The interceptor will also work to support the European Phased Adaptive Approach and serve as an operational enhancement to the Ballistic Missile Defense System.
Chris Fadler, SM-3 program manager at APL's air and missile defense sector, said the platform enables intermediate-range and medium-range ballistic missile interceptor capacities for Aegis vessels and ground-based Aegis Ashore areas within Europe.