MDA Still Sees 2018 Deployment In Restructured SM-3 IIA Plan
By Amy Butler
Source: Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
The decision was controversial; as the SM-3 interceptor family got a boost, plans drawn up by the George W. Bush administration for an expansion into Poland of a two-stage version of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Interceptor (GBI) were dashed. It is likely that as a new director takes office, the debate over added work on the SM-3 or more development of the GBI will re-emerge.
Though related to the SM-3 IA/B in name, the only major reusable item for the IIA is the first-stage motor; the rest of the missile is largely developmental. However, like its older cousins, the SM-3 IIA is being designed for use in the Navy’s Mk 41 vertical launch system
Japan is spending roughly the same amount of money in its contract with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which is managing development of the nose cone, second- and third-stage rocket motors, staging assembly and steering control section for the missile.
The U.S./Japan relationship developing the SMC-3 IIA is unique because there is no formal contractual arrangement between Raytheon and Mitsubishi, Kremer says. He notes that the funding recently provided by MDA will “address” requirements for finishing out the project. “This will allow us to put an official baseline under contract all the way through the flight test program,” he says.