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Jul 26, 2012 5:48 PM

Raytheon lands $925m contract for new defensive missile

TUCSON - Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems has been awarded a $925 million contract for development of a defensive missile that will be capable of intercepting and destroying ballistic missiles.

The contract for the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA missile is a co-development effort between the U.S. and Japan, and will be the third evolution of the SM-3 family of missiles, a program which has already had 21 successful missile intercepts, according to a news release from Raytheon.

"The SM-3 IIA's larger rocket motors will allow for a greater defended area, which is an important factor when it comes to protecting both the U.S. and our NATO allies," said Wes Kremer, vice president of the Air and Missile Defense Systems product line for Raytheon Missile Systems.

Over 130 SM-3-type missiles have been delivered to the U.S. and Japanese navies by Raytheon, the news release states.

Pictured: An earlier iteration of the SM-3 type missile, image courtesy Raytheon, Inc.

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