POINT MUGU, Calif., 28 March 2009. A Raytheon Company Standard Missile-2 Block IV missile intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile target at the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division. The SM-2 Block IV engagement demonstrated near-term, sea-based capability for destroying short-range ballistic missiles in the final phase of flight.
During the same test, a Raytheon SM-2 Block IIIA missile intercepted and destroyed a low-altitude, anti-ship cruise missile target. The first-of-its-kind test simultaneously demonstrated an air warfare capability against a low-altitude, anti-ship cruise missile and a ship system engagement capability, says a representative.
The crew of the guided missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG-65) fired both SM-2 surface-to-air missiles. The ballistic missile target was launched from San Nicolas Island, Calif., while the anti-ship cruise missile target was launched from Point Mugu.
"These intercepts once again prove SM-2, whatever the mission, is the best option for protecting our warfighters at sea," says Frank Wyatt, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president of Naval Weapon Systems. "SM-2 Block IV can destroy incoming short-range ballistic missiles through direct impact or by detonating a blast-fragmentation warhead close to the target. SM-2 Block IIIA offers the best advanced fleet protection against all air warfare threats."
This event marks the third test of the modified SM-2 Block IV missile against short-range ballistic missiles and the latest in a series of tests using the SM-2 Block IIIA. Raytheon is also working with the Missile Defense Agency to develop a far-term, sea-based terminal capability.