Home » Aviation » Lockheed: SM-3 Block IIA Missile Shot Next Month Will Also Test New Aegis BMD Build


Lockheed: SM-3 Block IIA Missile Shot Next Month Will Also Test New Aegis BMD Build

USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) successfully conducted a flight test involving the launch of a medium-range ballistic missile target from the Pacific Missile Range Facility located on Kauai, Hawaii on May 17, 2016. MDA Photo

USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) successfully conducted a flight test involving the launch of a medium-range ballistic missile target from the Pacific Missile Range Facility located on Kauai, Hawaii on May 17, 2016. MDA Photo

MOORESTOWN, N.J. – A planned October ballistic missile defense test from an Aegis destroyer will be the first outing for Lockheed Martin’s upgraded integrated air and missile defense software build, company officials told USNI News last week.

The test — announced earlier this month by the head of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency Adm. James Syring – will not only be the first for the new Raytheon SM-3 Block IIA BMD interceptor but also the next for the Baseline 9.2 software build of Aegis IAMD capability, Paul Klammer, director, Aegis BMD at Lockheed Martin told USNI News.

The Baseline 9.2C software will allow the Aegis destroyer to provide the SM-3 IIA targeting information from a sensor beyond the range of the ship’s SPY-1 to “engage-on-remote.”

“Engage-on-remote gives us the capability to shoot down a threat solely based on data from an external provider,” Klammer said.

The engage-on-remote BMD concept. MDA Image

The engage-on-remote BMD concept. MDA Image

That means the ship could take cueing information from an asset like a satellite.

While next month’s planned SM-3 Block IIA test will use the Baseline 9.2C build but won’t use the engage-on-remote, but build to it in later tests.

SM-3 Block IIA

SM-3 Block IIA

The SM-3 Block IIA shot from the guided missile destroyer will be the missile’s first intercept test, in what Syring called in early August, “a big deal.” Japan and the U.S. tested the missile from shore in December.

“It will send a message around the world on what Aegis is doing and what Standard Missile is doing to defeat the threat,” he said during the Space and Missile Defense Symposium, according to Space News.

The new missile — with longer legs to defend against medium range ballistic missiles – is being developed in conjunction with Japan, according to Raytheon.

“It has two distinct new features: larger rocket motors that will allow it to defend broader areas from ballistic missile threats and a larger kinetic warhead,” the company said in a statement.

In addition to being fielded on Aegis destroyers, SM-3 Block IIA is also planned to be used by the Poland installation of Aegis Ashore by 2018.

  • Weasel

    That’s “9.C2” vice 9.2C…

    • Bailey Zhang

      That’s what I’m confused too

  • Curtis Conway

    This is the ‘Holy Grail’ of Integrated Air & Missile Defense. This baseline will be the latest and greatest for the DDG-51 prior to AIMD, and if I know how the spec was written, and the communications with the radar takes place, this build will be a piece of cake for upgrade to DDG-51 Flt III integration & test with the AMDR. This would also be a good build for Aegis Ashore, integrated with the UPX-29 interogator, and off we go with an FAA asset, and BMD for CONUS, and other places. This is the build that will support the congressional report mandated in the 2017 NDAA. This is the build the South Koreans and Japanese will be looking for to build their new combat systems on, and probably an Aegis Ashore configuration as well, based upon their own DDG BMD systems requirements. We should be assisting South Korea in the development of their Aegis Ashore based on their DDG System architecture, and license them (and Japan) to produce Standard Missiles.

    • sferrin

      A shame SM-3 Block IIB was cancelled, and that we’ve pretty much stopped deployment of the Mk57s beyond the Zumwalts (which means no missiles that will take advantage of the larger cell size will be built).

      • airider

        Why do you think it was a shame? If the threat exceeds the IIA’s capabilities, it’s now in GBI’s ballpark. If we need more and better coverage against ICBM’s, the answer is to build and field more GBI’s.

        The IIA will be effective (and more affordable) against the MRBM and IRBM threats it was built to defend against, while taking advantage of the existing infrastructure Navy’s Aegis ships can already provide.

        We don’t need Mk57’s and Zumwaults for this….the few extra inches in diameter the Mk57’s provide (and no additional length compared to Mk 41) won’t allow a GBI-class missile to fit.

      • Curtis Conway

        This is a case where the administration is “On a River in Egypt” . . . and I think they actually started to understand the reality transpiring around them and have changed course a few degrees, but that may be mostly wishful thinking on my part. The BMD threat has grown, and availability of ASCMs has increased in capability at lower cost and availability. This is one of the few times in HiStroy when America stood by and let people die (pull-out from Iraq and letting ISIS be created and flourish), one nation bully others to the point our actions are limited (South China Sea), watch a belligerent in Europe invade another country and take territory (Georgia & Ukraine), and we could have made a difference if we had the forces for presence, and the determination to stand for the ‘Right Thing To Do’. That is what the planet has counted on in the past, we have shrunk from, and probably why the president go less respect in China getting off the plane. This administration’s legacy is making These United States ‘just another country’.

        • “Transform America” precisely as BHO planned.

          • Curtis Conway

            The pity of it is he had no idea what he was doing (just driven by ideology), and the results has been bad for everyone . . . unless your ‘On a River in Egypt’, and I think after this trip to China, the administration is starting to smell the coffee, and come to understand what they have done . . . asleep at the wheel. The Chinese have a ‘fait accompli’ . . . in the South China Sea, and this administration will do nothing about it due to lack of intestinal fortitude, and no conviction to act . . . until its too late.

    • Let us hope that your faith in AMDR is not misplaced. Aside from the S-Band portion of Cobra Judy (which was built in a rotating turret and did not have to contend with aircraft and cruise missiles), this will be for the most part a first attempt for Brand-X. I doubt if any of the Cobra Judy guys are still working (retired or not).

  • Engage on remote is the only way Aegis Ashore works. The
    Block II missile (21 inch round) will definitely out-fly the SPY-1 Radar. If we
    had one of those during the satellite shootdown, we would have killed USA-193 in the
    middle of January.

  • Bailey Zhang

    Can we develop the THAAD-ER too?

  • Marjus Plaku

    continue with the BLOCK IIB development!!

  • ew_3

    “Engage-on-remote” creates some very interesting opportunities.

    The SM-3 would fit very nicely in an SSN or SSGN missile tube.
    Suddenly we have ballistic missile defense appearing from the middle of the sea.