Standard Missile-3 passes critical design review

Raytheon Company in the U.S. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan said on Thursday that they completed the critical design review for the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA guided missile.

The CDR confirmed that the missile's design meets the stringent and specific operational performance requirements to defeat projected threats. The missile is designed to collide with incoming ballistic missiles in space. The program is on track to begin flight testing in 2015.

In a co-development effort between allies, the United States and Japan created a work share agreement that equally defines the responsibility between the two countries.

President of Raytheon Missile Systems Taylor Lawrence said the CDR is a critical point in the development of the missile because it clears them to move from development to construction.

"Once deployed, SM-3 Block IIA will provide the U.S. and Japan capability to defend larger geographic areas from longer-range ballistic missile threats," Lawrence said.

SM-3 Block IIA missile Program Director Tim Lardy said they worked closely with the Missile Defense Agency to make sure design plans were well thought out, which allowed them to build and test along the way.

"This method will go a long way toward lowering our risk during future flight testing," Lardy said.

The SM-3 missiles destroy incoming ballistic missiles in space using no more than the sheer impact of collision, which is equivalent to a 10-ton truck traveling at 600 mph.