The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) awarded Raytheon Technologies [RTX] an $867 million contract on June 14 to buy an undisclosed number of Standard Missile (SM)-3 Block IIA All-Up Round missiles for the U.S. and Japan.

The work for the sole-source manufacture and assembly contract will occur in Tucson, Ariz., and Huntsville, Ala., and is expected to be finished by December 2026.

At the time of award obligated funding was split between $250 million in fiscal year (FY) 2021 Defense-wide procurement and $384 million in FY ‘22 Defense-wide procurement while another $196 million in Japanese Ministry of Defense funds were made available for obligation when an option is exercised.

“The SM-3 Block IIA interceptor was developed in partnership with Japan, and it features a larger rocket motor and kinetic warhead that allow it to defend broader areas from long-range ballistic missile threats,” Tay Fitzgerald, president of Strategic Missile Defense at Raytheon Missiles & Defense, said in a statement.

“Our strong cooperation with Japanese industry was essential to the development of this next-generation solution that can defeat complex threats around the world from sea and land,” he continued.

The SM-3 is designed to destroy short to intermediate range ballistic missiles via a hit-to-kill vehicle during the target’s midcourse flight phase. The kill vehicle on the Block IIA model is designed to improve the search, discrimination, acquisition and tracking functions to better target improving threats. It improves on the earlier Block IA and IB models.

In 2020, MDA conducted a successful intercept test of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM)-representative target with an SM-3 IIA launched from the USS John Finn (DDG-113) (Defense Daily, Nov. 17, 2020).

MDA’s FY ‘23 budget request includes $1.6 billion for the Aegis missile defense system, which includes 47 SM-3 Block IB missiles and 10 SM-3 IIA missiles (Defense Daily, April 1).

During the budget briefing, MDA officials noted the architecture that will defend Guam against ballistic cruise and hypersonic missiles will include SM-3 and SM-6 missiles using mobile deployments (Defense Daily, March 29).

In February, MDA issued a Request For Information conducting market research to develop a new acquisition strategy for the SM-3 program, including all variants: IA, IB, and IIA. MDA said it expected contracting for work along these lines to start in early FY’23 and could last up to 10 years (Defense Daily, Feb. 9).