Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force intercepted short and medium-range ballistic missile targets with SM-3 Block IB and SM-3 Block IIA interceptors, Raytheon announced Monday.
This is the first time a non-U.S. maritime service intercepted targets with both variants of interceptors and it is the first time a Japanese ship fired SM-3 Block IIA.
The demonstration was conducted in partnership with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. Both types of interceptors are made by Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business.
The multi-day Japan Flight Test Aegis Weapon System-07 included engagements of ballistic missile targets with SM-3 and a next generation subsonic aerial target with SM-2 Block IIIB.
In support of the U.S.-Japan SM-3 Block IIA Cooperative Development (SCD) Project, Japanese industry and Raytheon Missiles & Defense cooperatively designed and built the SM-3 Block IIA variant.
In contrast to earlier SM-3 versions, Block IIA's larger rocket motors and increased kill vehicle capabilities allow for significantly greater range and performance against advanced missile threats.