MDA awards $218 million SM-3 contract to Raytheon

TUCSON, AZ. Raytheon won a $218,530,196 contract from the Missile Defense Agency to finish the assembly and delivery of 29 Standard Missile-3 Block IB missiles. The SM-3 interceptors are launched off Navy ships and destroy incoming short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missile threats by hitting with them in space.

Final assembly will take place in Raytheon's Redstone Missile Integration Facility in Huntsville, AL. Guidance sections and guidance units will then be built at the Raytheon Missile Systems Space Factory in Tucson.

"The three back-to-back successful SM-3 Block IB flight tests have demonstrated the missile's advanced capabilities and reliability against various threats in a variety of mission scenarios," says Dr. Taylor Lawrence, President, Raytheon Missile Systems.

The SM-3 does not contain an explosive warhead, but actually destroys the threats through sheer impact, the equivalent of a 10-ton truck traveling at 600 mph. The next-generation SM-3 Block IB guided missile is scheduled to be deployed in 2015. It will be used in afloat and ashore weapons systems.