Friday, May 31, 2013

SM-3 missile marks golden anniversary

Raytheon celebrates standard missile production with local delivery
Raytheon’s Redstone Missile Integration Facility reached another milestone Thursday, just in time for the company’s 60th anniversary celebration of the Standard Missile defense program.
The facility, located near Gate 3 on Redstone Arsenal, delivered the first Redstone Arsenal-built Standard Missile-3 interceptor with the symbolic presentation of an oversized DD250 delivery form by Randy Stevenson, director of Raytheon’s Weapon Integration Center, and Rawn Pearcey, a quality representative for the Defense Contract Management Agency.
“We worked very hard to pull this in to today’s date,” Stephenson said of the SM-3 delivery, which was originally slated for delivery at the end of June.
“This is a very big day for us. It represents the first delivery from this new facility of the Standard Missile-3.”
Raytheon, which began operations at its $75 million, 70,000-square-foot facility in late 2012, provides final assembly and testing for Standard Missile-3 and Standard Missile-6 interceptors, two ballistic missiles associated with the nation’s worldwide missile defense strategy.
Raytheon delivered its first Standard Missile-6 at the end of February. The SM-6 represents the latest technology in extended range anti-air warfare missiles fired from Navy ships against fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles.
The SM-3, which is part of the Missile Defense Agency’s sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, represents time-tested technology that is deployed on Navy cruisers and destroyers, and on Japanese destroyers to defend against short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats in the ascent and midcourse phase of flight, and at land-based sites in Europe. It was produced at Raytheon’s Tucson, Ariz., facility before the need for more production capability required its move to Raytheon’s new Redstone facility.
“SM-6 represents the latest technology for Standard Missile with faster speeds, better reach and better discretion. Those are the kinds of things we need to defend against the threat over the next several years,” Stevenson said.

“The SM-3 continues to provide ballistic capability with production at Redstone. It’s the first bullet in the fleet to defend the nation against the enemy threat of ballistic missiles. We’ve had 23 effective kills of ballistic missile targets with the SM-3. It’s developed, implemented and proven technology that hits a bullet with a bullet. It kills in space at a collision of high speed.”
More than 7,700 Standard Missiles have been produced by Raytheon in the past 60 years. During a video teleconference from Raytheon’s Tucson facility in recognition of the anniversary milestone, the history of the program was reviewed from its inception.
Standard Missile development began in the late 1940s, when the Navy needed a missile that could defend warships against fast-moving fighter jets and the missiles they carried. From that need, the Standard Missile was developed, and it has evolved in 60 years from defending ships to protecting entire nations as part of the U.S. integrated air and missile defense system. Today, the Standard Missile family includes:
• SM-1 – Nicknamed “Home All the Way,” this missile protects the U.S. and allied ships against low-flying, anti-ship missiles by “homing” in on a target throughout its flight.
• SM-2 – This is the first missile variant that can acquire a target after launch and is today used by the U.S. and allied nations as the fleet-area air defense weapon.
• SM-3 – This is the only missile that can be launched from a ship, blast into space and defend again short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles. Both the U.S. and Japanese use this non-explosive warhead to “hit a bullet with a bullet.”
• SM-6 – Representing the newest ballistic missile technology, this missile is an over-the-horizon air defense weapon.
Raytheon’s Redstone facility represents the future of Standard Missile development, said Raytheon president Dr. Taylor Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems.
“It is a new center of excellence for delivering the Standard Missile. It is the most advanced automated missile production facility in the world,” he said.
The Redstone facility provides greater capability for Raytheon to grow its missile production, Stevenson said. Now with both the SM-3 and SM-6 in production, the next product that will be introduced to the Redstone facility will be the 2A version of the Standard Missile. Currently, Raytheon is producing the 1A and 1B versions.
“The 2A is the next generation beyond the 1B,” he said. “These are three huge models of missiles. The 1A and the 1B are 13-inch diameter missiles and the 2A is a 21-inch diameter missile. The larger 2A missile includes additional propulsion material that gives it an extended range and more capabilities. We are advancing this technology and co-developing it with Japan, and plan to have it online in 2015 or 2016.”
One of the reasons Raytheon built the Redstone facility was to put the 2A version into production.
“It has a higher net explosive weight, and that’s a capacity this facility was designed for in terms of safety and mission assurance. This facility more than doubles our capacity for net explosive weight over our other facilities,” Stevenson said. “A larger missile equals larger net explosive weight and this facility is designed to facilitate that explosive capacity.”
Besides the nation’s Japanese ally, the 2A will also be an element of the phased adaptive approach for protection in the European zone, he said.
Raytheon’s Redstone facility will also be a recertification center for SM-3, Stevenson said. Older missiles will be returned from fleet to the Redstone facility, where they will be tested and lower level components will be replaced as needed before returning the missile back to the fleet.

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