Aegis ship compatible Raytheon's Standard Missile-3 (SM-3), jointly developed by US and Japan, was test fired successfully on Saturday.
The SM-3 IIA, a 21-inch variant of previous SM-3 missile, destroys incoming ballistic missile threats in space. It is compatible with the US Aegis combat system built by Lockheed Martin.
A Raytheon official was quoted as saying by Reuters on Sunday that the SM-3 IIA missile possesses rocket motors and a more capable kill vehicle that would allow the missile to engage threats quickly. Moreover, it protects larger regions from short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats.
Rick Lehner spokesman for the US Missile Defense Agency was quoted as saying that the US expenditure was $2 billion on the weapons program and Japan contributed about $1 billion.
The test is the evaluation of the missile's nosecone performance, function of steering control, and the separation of its booster, and second and third stages, said US and the company officials.
"The success of this test keeps the program on track for a 2018 deployment at sea and ashore," said Taylor Lawrence president of Raytheon's missile systems business.
Riki Ellison, chairman of Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance was quoted as saying that the US shared equal funds and engineering technologies with Japan to built and field a weapon system.
Three more years of testing were planned for the missile before prior to its use on U.S. Navy Aegis ships, Japan's Kongo ships, and at Aegis Ashore sites in Poland and Romani, said Ellison.
A SM-3 Block IIA was launched from a MK 41 launcher located at the US Navy's Point Mugu Sea Range on Saint Nicolas Island in California.
Aerojet Rocketdyne announced on Sunday that its MK 72 booster provided the first-stage propulsion on the SM-3 Block IIA.