Aerojet Rocketdyne's propulsion systems successfully contributed to the first successful salvo engagement of two Raytheon Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB guided missiles against a ballistic missile target.
The SM-3 Block IB guided missile is part of the Missile Defense Agency's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) second generation Weapon System.
During Flight Test Standard Missile-21 (FTM-21), the naval missiles intercepted and destroyed a separating ballistic missile target in the first operational test event for the SM-3 Block IB guided missile.
Aerojet Rocketdyne's MK 72 booster and MK 104 dual-thrust rocket motor provided the first- and second-stage propulsion, while Aerojet Rocketdyne's Throttling Divert and Attitude Control System (TDACS) maneuvered the kinetic warhead to impact the target.
This test marked the first intercept where two SM-3 Block IB guided missiles were fired at a single target.
The SM-3 Block IB guided missiles will be deployed on Aegis BMD cruisers and destroyers, and also on land sites as part of the Aegis Ashore component, to defend against short-to-intermediate range ballistic missile threats in the mid-course phase of flight. Raytheon is the prime contractor for SM‑3 development.
In concert with Raytheon, Aerojet Rocketdyne is developing the third generation of naval and land-based U.S. missile defense capabilities by providing reliable, low-risk propulsion technologies. In addition to the current production of MK 72 and MK 104 rocket motors and the SM-3 Block IB TDACS, the company is developing the TDACS for SM-3 Block IIA, the planned missile variant upgrade to the current SM-3 Blocks IA and IB guided missiles.