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RIM-161 SM-3 Deployment

In mid-2002, the Missile Defense Agency indicated that it hoped to deploy sea-based defensive missiles as early as 2004. A Navy study prepared in late 2000 estimated that it would cost $5 billion to equip five or six Aegis destroyers with the system. The sea-based interceptors are scheduled for deployment in 2005. The Navy developed a plan to deploy a limited system of 50 SM-3 interceptor missiles aboard two AEGIS cruisers. The system could be operational by 2004 or 2005 at an estimated cost of at least $1.2 billion. The system would also require a large and sophisticated radar system deployed on another ship [possibly a cargo ship] to provide tracking support.

The Sea- based Midcourse Defense (SMD) element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) will provide the capability for US Navy Surface Combatants to intercept and destroy Medium Range to Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) in the midcourse ascent phase of the exoatmospheric battlespace while forward deployed or on Fleet Missile Defense Patrol in defense of the nation, deployed U. S. forces, friends, and allies. The SMD element built upon the existing Aegis Weapons System (AWS) and the Standard Missile (SM) infrastructure. The SMD element objectives include: 1) continue testing and complete the Navy Aegis Light- weight ExoAtmospheric Projectile (LEAP) Intercept (ALI) Flight Demonstration Project (FDP) to demonstrate that LEAP technologies can be successfully integrated with the Navy's Standard Missile and the AWS; 2) design and develop a Block 2004 ship- based component to be integrated with BMDS test bed; and, 3) initiate, in FY 2002, a Block 2006, 2008, 2010 sea- based midcourse capability against Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBMs) and ICBMs in concert with the Missile Defense National Team efforts as defined by the concept definition.

In 2004 Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (ABMD) continued its development and testing of the SM-3 missile in order to support deployment of a sea-based mid-course engagement capability by December 2005. Since November 2002, ABMD had two of three successful intercepts with the SM-3 Block 0 missile.

To fulfill the sea-based portion of the initial missile defense capabilities, the MDA is developing Aegis BMD in close coordination with the Navy and Naval Sea Systems Command. Aegis BMD Block 2004 consists of two major contributions to BMDS. The first contribution is Aegis DDG-51 Class Destroyers equipped for Long Range Surveillance and Track (LRS&T). LRS&T provides a capability to detect and track LRBMs and to report the track data to the BMDS. This capability assists in the sharing of tracking data to cue other BMDS sensors and provides fire control support to engagement elements. LRS&T is the first Aegis BMD delivery and is part of the Initial Defensive Operations (IDO), which went on alert in 2004.

The second contribution is Aegis CG-47 Class Cruisers equipped with the LRS&T capability, but also armed with the new SM-3, capable of intercepting short and medium range ballistic missile threats in the midcourse phase of flight. By 2005, full Aegis BMD Block 2004 functionality will be implemented in the first set of Aegis Cruisers. In the future, Aegis BMD capability will evolve to defeat longer range ballistic missiles.

Raytheon delivered five SM-3 operational rounds to the Missile Defense Agency in 2004. The program is transitioning to production, with Kinetic Warhead seeker and final integration occurring in Raytheon's state-of-the-art Kill Vehicle manufacturing facility, alongside the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle. Final assembly and test occur in Camden, AK. As part of the initial deployment of the BMDS, five Pacific Fleet Aegis Destroyers had operational LRS&T upgrades installed by the end of 2004.

In October 2004 Raytheon Company began delivering STANDARD Missile-3 (SM-3) initial deployment rounds to the Missile Defense Agency. SM-3 is a key element of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System and builds on the existing fleet of Aegis cruisers and destroyers. This is a critical milestone for Raytheon and for the country. These deployment rounds move the US Navy one step closer to providing a sea-based defense against short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats. The delivery of SM-3 supports the administration's commitment to provide a sea-based missile defense capability.

Aegis BMD went to sea on 30 September 2004, able to track an ICBM and to communicate that information to the Ballistic Missile Defense System. The Navy added firepower to Aegis BMD with the SM-3 missile. It is able to participate in the defense of not only the US, but of allies, friends and deployed troops against short-medium range ballistic missiles around the globe. Because naval forces are inherently mobile and capable of multiple missions, Aegis BMD will provide a broad array of options to operational commanders responding to a wide variety of dynamic world situations.

There were a total of 15 LRS&T Aegis Destroyers and 3 Aegis BMD engagement Cruisers by the end of CY 06. Both Aegis and other variants of the Standard Missile were on over fifty Aegis cruisers and destroyers, with twenty-nine more in the production pipeline.

As of January 2008 it was planned that Aegis BMD will deliver the following:

  • Fifteen (15) Aegis Destroyers equipped with the Aegis BMD Weapon System to conduct the LRS&T and engagement missions
  • Three (3) Aegis Cruisers equipped with the Aegis BMD Weapon System to conduct the LRS&T and engagement missions SM-3
  • Eleven (11) SM-3 Block I missiles
  • One (1) "Pathfinder" SM-3 Block IA Flight Test Round (FTR)
  • One (1) "Pathfinder" SM-3 Block IB Flight Test Round (FTR)
  • Eighty two (82) SM-3 Block IA missiles
  • Fifty two (52) SM-3 Block IB missiles

As of January 2008 it was planned that Aegis BMD will deliver the following RDT&E Articles:

  • FY09 - BMD 4.0.1 Testbed computer program (1), one (1) BMD 4.0.1 Cruiser (EDM).
  • FY10 - Nine (9) SM-3 Block IA missiles, one (1) Pathfinder SM-3 Block IB missile, upgraded EDM of BMD 4.0.1 computer program with BSP (1).
  • FY11 - Fourteen (14) SM-3 Block IA missiles, Eighteen (18) SM-3 Block IB missiles, one (1) BMD 4.0.1 CG with BSP.
  • FY12 - Twenty-one (21) SM-3 Block IB missiles, two (2) BMD 4.0.1 DDGs with BSP.
  • FY13 - Thirteen (13) SM-3 Block IB missiles, two (2) BMD 4.0.1 DDGs with BSP, two (2) BMD 5.0 (Open Architecture) DDGs.

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