The Missile Defense Agency awarded on the 16th of September Raytheon Company $87 million to purchase long-lead materials needed to produce up to 17 Standard Missile-3 Block IIAs that will be used for testing and initial deployment. A follow-on contract for the additional materials, parts and components is expected by early 2016.
Raytheon’s Standard Missile-3 Block IIA is on track for deployment in 2018. "Our Japanese partners have been tremendous allies in this development program, and together we’ve taken ballistic missile defense to the next level," said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. "When the SM-3 Block IIA deploys in 2018, we will have a greater degree of protection than ever before."
The SM-3 Block IIA has larger rocket motors and a bigger, more capable kill vehicle that allows it to take out threats sooner in flight and protect larger regions of land.
"The SM-3 Block IIA can be used at sea or on land with no modification to the missile," said Amy Cohen, Standard Missile-3 program director. "The SM-3 is the only ballistic missile defense interceptor that can be deployed both ways, and that flexibility is a tremendous asset."