Jun 27, 2012 7:31 PM
TUCSON - The U.S. Navy successfully fired a missile that destroyed another missile target, marking the 21st successful intercept by a missile developed by the Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems.
The USS Lake Erie, deployed off the coast of Hawaii, launched the SM-3 Block IB missile at another ballistic missile target, and using the sheer kinetic force of a massive collision, destroyed the threat target in space, according to a news release from Raytheon. The target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the island of Kauai, and the USS Lake Eerie launched the SM-3 missile once it detected the threat on its radar.
Video courtesy Raytheon.com, via YouTube
"Today's flight test was the second, back-to-back successful intercept for the newest variant of SM-3, and it further increases our confidence in this weapon's defensive capabilities," said Dr. Taylor Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. "We will continue to increase the complexity of the test scenarios as we demonstrate the full capability of the SM-3 Block IB against more advanced threats."
The SM-3 destroys incoming missile threats by colliding with them, essentially "hitting a bullet with a bullet," causing an impact that is equivalent of a 10-ton truck traveling at 600 miles per hour.
The company is on track to deliver the next-generation SM-3 Block IB in 2015.