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U.S. Deploys First SM-3 Block IB Missile

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A Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) is launched from the Aegis-class guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG-70). US Navy Photo

A Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) is launched from the Aegis-class guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG-70). US Navy Photo

The U.S. Navy and the Missile Defense Agency have started to deploy the Raytheon Standard SM-3 Block 1B operationally, the company said in a Wednesday statement.

“The SM-3 Block IB’s completion of initial operational testing last year set the stage for a rapid deployment to theater,” said Taylor Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems, in a statement released by the company on Wednesday.

The deployment marks the start of the second phase of the Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA) that was adopted in 2009 to defend the U.S. and European allies from ballistic missile threats purportedly emanating from Iran.

Last October, construction started on the first operational Aegis Ashore site in Romania, which is slated to become operational in 2015 as part of PAA Phase 2. Based on the shipboard Aegis system, the shore-based version of missile defense system will be able to launch SM-3 Block IAs, IBs and IIAs.

The shore-based Aegis sites will work with the Navy’s Aegis ballistic missile defense ships to protect North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries from missile attacks.

According to Raytheon, the first Aegis Ashore test with the SM-3 Block IB are expected to take place later this year at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii.

  • Brendan Smith

    Let me guess. Obama will cut the program like he has done to the Tomahawk and Hellfire missiles.

    • RobM1981

      You never know. He might choose to simply under-fund it…

  • http://www.usmc.mil @notrizzo

    These are being deployed on Tico and Burke class ships I assume, why is the article focused on Aegis Ashore deployment in ’15?

  • Secundius

    The Standard Missile, was used with great effect in Vietnam of Wild Weasel sweeps against SAM missile sites. Maybe the should also deploy the in sea-version Wild Weasel/Growler role as well. An PLAN ship’s captain stupid enough to use their version of the Aegis System, might second and/or third thoughts about doing it again.
    After the loose 2 or 3 PLAN ships.