A Raytheon-supplied Standard Missile-3 Block IB interceptor fired from the Navy cruiser USS Lake Erie off the coast of Hawaii successfully collided with and destroyed a target missile over the Pacific Ocean, announced the Missile Defense Agency June 27. The test of this new SM-3 variant took place late on the evening of June 26 local Hawaii time, according to MDA’s release. “Initial indications are that all components performed as designed, resulting in a very accurate intercept,” states the release. “Today’s flight test was the second, back-to-back successful intercept for the newest variant of SM-3, and it further increases our confidence in this weapon’s defensive capabilities,” said Taylor Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president, in the company’s June 27 release. The Block IB missile will be part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach Phase 2 missile defense system; the United States will station land-based SM-3 Block IBs in Romania in 2015 as part of EPAA.
As the U.S. continues to pursue a diplomatic resolution with Russia over its troop buildup on the Ukraine border, the Defense Department is looking into what capabilities it will need to reassure NATO allies if Russia does launch an invasion, its top spokesperson said Jan. 21.