TUCSON, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Raytheon said it will continue engineering work on the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA, part of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's Ballistic Missile Defense System.
The SM-3 Block IIA, a joint development effort by the United States and Japan, has larger rocket motors than previous versions and an advanced kinetic warhead.
Under a contract modification, worth $241 million, Raytheon will continue engineering design and development work for the system.
"The co-development of the SM-3 Block IIA with our Japanese allies continues to be an industry-leading example of global partnership," said Wes Kremer, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems' Air and Missile Defense Systems product line. "The SM-3 Block IIA is on track for a 2018 deployment."
The SM-3 is for the Missile Defense Agency's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System to defend against short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles in the midcourse phase of flight.
More than 130 SM-3s have been delivered to U.S. and Japanese navies, which are deploying them on Aegis cruisers and destroyers.