Aerojet completes missile warhead tests

Feb. 10, 2011 at 8:42 AM
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SACRAMENTO, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- A kinetic warhead system integration test for the Standard Missile-3 Block has been completed by Aerojet of California and Raytheon.

The test verified the warhead's ability to detect, track and engage a ballistic missile target.

Aerojet, a subcontractor to Raytheon Missile Systems, said the test involved a fully operational, flight-weight kinetic warhead operating on an air-bearing test stand in a high-altitude chamber at an Aerojet facility.

The warhead's seeker tracked a simulated target while the guidance computer sent information to the Throttleable Divert and Attitude Control System to fire its thrusters as if it were conducting an actual flight mission.

The TDACS fired its divert and attitude control thrusters and maintained aim on the target during the entire test sequence, the company said.

"Performing the successful test achieves an important and major TDACS milestone, further demonstrating the system's readiness for flight," said Aerojet Vice President Dick Bregard. "The Aerojet SM-3 Blk IB TDACS team is dedicated to achieving 100 percent mission success and to meeting the program's demanding schedule.

"Aerojet is committed … to deliver this critical system capability to the fleet in 2012."

Raytheon Missile Systems of Tucson, the prime contractor for the SM-3 program and is developing SM-3 as part of the Missile Defense Agency's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. SM-3 will be deployed in both a sea-based and land-based mode as part of phase two of the Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense.

Aerojet is developing the TDACS for the SM-3 Blk IB program.

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