SM-3 Maneuvering System Passes Ground Test
The Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) successfully ground tested an improved version of its control system, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced.
The SM-3 is part of the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program.
The upgraded pulse mode of the SM-3 sea-based missile Solid Divert Attitude and Control System (SDACS) was tested in late March at Alliant Techsystems in Elkton, Md.
This was the fourth successful ground test for the upgraded SDACS. The final ground test, if subsequent data analysis turns out to be as positive as the initial results indicate, will provide for the insertion of the pulse mode capability into the SM-3 Block IA missile this summer.
That mode adds additional thrust and maneuvering capabilities to the SM-3 kinetic warhead, which, after launch from an Aegis BMD cruiser or destroyer with a missile defense capability, is designed to place itself in the path of a hostile ballistic missile.
The interceptor collides directly with the target to destroy it, using hit-to-kill technology.
During the recent ground test, simulated flight control commands were sent to the SDACS to evaluate pulse mode performance requirements and design effectiveness. Preliminary analysis indicates that all test objectives were achieved.