ARLINGTON, Va., 11 Nov. 2010. Missile designers at the Boeing Co. in St. Louis are joining a U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program called the Triple Target Terminator (T3) to develop a high-speed, long-range air-to-air missile able to shoot down high-performance aircraft, cruise missiles, and air defense targets.
Boeing won a $21.3 million DARPA cost-sharing development contract Wednesday for the T3 program. Boeing joins the Raytheon Co. Missile Systems segment in Tucson, Ariz., which also won a $21.3 million T3 development contract on 25 Oct. Boeing will do the work in St. Louis; Gainesville, Va.; Westminster, Colo.; and Redmond, Ore., and should be finished in November 2011.
The T3 advanced air-to-air missile that would be carried internally on stealth jet bombers such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter or the Boeing F-15-SE Silent Eagle, as well as externally on conventional jet fighters, bombers, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
DARPA officials say the future T3 missile will be designed to enable any aircraft to switch rapidly between air-to-air and air-to-surface capabilities. T3's speed, maneuverability, and network-centric capabilities would improve U.S. aircraft survivability and increase the number and variety of targets that could be destroyed on each sortie.