SM-2 Block IV Sea-Based Terminal
A study of alternatives to the Navy Area Wide program was slated to be completed by May 2002. In May 2002 DOD announced that instead of starting a replacement program, MDA had instead decided to (1) modify the SM-3 sea-based midcourse interceptor to intercept ballistic missiles at lower altitudes, and (2) modify the SM-2 Block IV air defense missile to cover some of the remaining portion of the sea-based terminal defense requirement.
In October 2002, it was reported that the Navy intended to begin funding a next-generation anti-air warfare (AAW) interceptor in FY04, which it calls the "Extended-Range Active Missile" to fill the air-defence gap left by the termination of the [NAD program's] SM-2 Blk IVA. It will have a range approaching 200nm against aircraft, but not missiles.
MDA, which assumed responsibility for all ballistic missile defenses in January 2002, began planning a series of experiments to assess alternative means of fulfilling the lower tier mission requirement. The Terminal Defense Segment involves development and upgrades of missile defense capabilities that engage short- to medium- range ballistic missiles in the terminal phase of their trajectory. Elements in this defense segment include a sea-based terminal concept definition element (successor to the Navy Area activities).
The SM-2 Block IV program, referred to as Near-Term Sea Based Terminal, was developed as an interim solution in response to the war fighter’s request for a mobile, sea-based terminal phased capability. The Far-Term Sea Based Terminal (FTSBT) program will expand on the Near-Term Sea Based Terminal capability developed and delivered in BMDS Block 2.0, providing a more robust system that expands the battle space and enables engagement of longer-range threats. The FTSBT program will be developed to be compatible with the Navy’s Open Architecture program to ensure it remains compatible with future upgrades to the Aegis Weapons System. MDA will begin FTSBT weapons system requirements definition work in FY 08, continuing into FY 09. The FTSBT program has a projected fielding date of 2014.
The modified SM-2 Block IV Gap-Filler Sea-Based Terminal (SBT) provided the firing ship the capability to guide the missile to achieve either; 1) a direct body to body hit between the interceptor and the threat or, 2) a near-direct hit where the high pressure, heat and fragments are placed on the threat by a blast fragmentation warhead. This warhead is similar in concept to that used in the deployed Israeli Arrow system.
Starting in 2005 the Navy and the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) have collaborated on plans for a Sea-Based Terminal defensive layer. In May 2006 MDA demonstrated the feasibility of developing a limited near-term capability against a short-range ballistic missile using a modified Standard Missile–2 Block IV interceptor. Based on this demonstration, MDA is upgrading the Aegis weapon system, and the Navy is upgrading the SM-2 Block IV, the goal being to install a terminal engagement capability on 18 Aegis BMD ships beginning in 2009.
BMD modifications to Standard Missile-2 Block IV updated (Sea-Based Terminal Defense) use upgraded Standard Missile-2 sea-based interceptor missiles to achieve a terminal phase intercept capability. The FY08 budget request provided funding to begin the near-term and far-term program sea-based terminal program. The near-term sea-based terminal program will modify already existing SM-2 Block IV missiles to address incoming ballistic missiles in the terminal phase. The far-term program will begin the design and development of a more advanced sea-based terminal capability.
MDA also are examining with the Navy options for developing a far-term improved capability to address short- and medium-range threats. MDA's FY 2008 request for Sea-Based Terminal development work was $75 million. The Near-Term Sea-Based Terminal (SBT) project in Block 2008 supports the BMDS mission of intercepting ballistic missiles in all regions, in all phases, and of all ranges, as follows:
- In all regions provide enhanced engagement capability.
- Engagement capability against missile threats in the terminal flight stage.
- Near-Term SBT provides capability against SRBM and limited PRBM targets.
Aegis BMD supported LDC by providing Long Range Surveillance and Track (LRS&T) data to other elements of the BMDS. Aegis BMD further improved both national and international security with its ability to launch Standard Missile 3 Block IA (SM-3 Block IA) missiles based upon data received via the Tactical Digital Information Link (TADIL) network in the final Block 2006 configuration, BMD 3.6. In Block 2008, Aegis BMD will provide a follow-on capability to BMD 3.6, in response to recent Real World Events. Near-Term SBT (BMD 3.6.1) will provide for an integrated Sea Based Terminal capability against a finite set of Short Range Ballistic Missiles.
BMD 3.6.1 will incorporate a fuze modified SM-2 Block IV missile provided by a separate OPNAV sponsored effort and will build on BMD 3.6 to provide a terminal phase capability. The BMD 3.6.1 will continue efforts to refine Aegis Launch on AN/TPY-2 and will bridge the gap between the operational deployment of BMD 3.6 and BMD 4.0.1.
Aegis BMD will field a near-term Sea-Based Terminal capability beginning in FY 2009. In addition to the near-term SBT capability, Aegis BMD will perform various upgrades to BMD 3.6 in BMD 3.6.1; updates will include early integration efforts for Aegis BMD launch on AN/TPY-2 capability.
The Aegis BMD element acquisition approach supports evolutionary development, continuously building upon demonstrated capabilities to advance overall BMDS capability. After considering all technical and management aspects of the program and to meet the requirements presented by an evolving ballistic missile threat, the Aegis BMD program has awarded a sole source contract to Lockheed Martin to continue development of the Aegis BMD Weapon System. The U.S. Navy is performing modifications to the 100 SM-2 Block IV missiles.
- A Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) is launched on May 24, 2006 from the Pearl Harbor-based Aegis cruiser, USS Lake Erie (CG 70) as part of a US Navy missile defense demonstration. The demonstration, in cooperation with the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), was the first sea-based intercept of a ballistic missile in its terminal (last few seconds of flight) phase. A short-range target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. Shortly thereafter, it was intercepted by the SM-2.
- FY09 Planned Program: BX18 Sea-Based Terminal BMD Block 2.0 - FTM-14 BX18 3Q FY 2008 • Flight testing of the BMD 3.6.1 (Near term SBT) computer program with a Navy-developed SM-2 Block IV fuze-modified missile against a Foreign Military Acquisition (FMA) target).
Far-Term Sea Based Terminal (FTSBT)
The Far-Term Sea Based Terminal (FTSBT) project (BMD 5.X), is an Aegis BMD future capability development, with a projected fielding date of 2014. FTSBT will expand the Near-Term Sea Based Terminal capability developed and delivered as baseline BMD 3.6.1 in Block 2.0, providing a more capable and robust SBT capability and expanding the battlespace to enable the system against a greater range of targets. BMD 5.X ill be built with the Aegis BMD Weapon System in OPen Architecture. Current planning certifies tactical capability in FY14, for inclusion with the U.S. Navy's spiral 6 upgrades.
The weapon system development and deployment effort will be sole source to Lockheed Martin. The interceptor remained TBD in 2007, though the SM-6 is preferred. It is anticipated that the missile development work will be competed among multiple vendors.