The Missile Defense Agency is considering a land-based variant of the Standard Missile-3, says Ed Miyashiro, deputy general manager of Raytheon's Missile Systems sector in Tucson, Ariz.
Driving the need is Israel, which wants the ability to engage ballistic missiles in the exoatmosphere farther away from its own territory. Iran fired multiple medium- and long-range ballistic missiles July 9 during a military exercise. The long-range Shahab could reach Israeli territory.
SM-3 prime contractor Raytheon is examining a range of options -- including a moveable, but not highly mobile, system that could fill Israel's needs. Very few modifications would be needed for the missile and some tweaks would be required in the command and control system.
The system would employ the same vertical launch modules, in an eight-pack configuration, used in the Aegis ship-based system.