The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) awarded Raytheon [RTN] a $467 million contract to produce, test, and deliver 44 Standard Missile (SM)-3 Block IB interceptors, the company said on Wednesday.

The company explained this award is the fiscal year 2018 portion of an earlier $2.4 billion contract announcement in 2015 for planned FY ’15 through FY ’18 SM-3 production.

A SM-3 1B launching off a Navy cruiser in Oct. 2013. Photo: Missile Defense Agency.
A SM-3 1B launching off a Navy cruiser in Oct. 2013. Photo: Missile Defense Agency.

That initial contract put a lid on a previously awarded $541 million contract effective April 2015 for 44 interceptors plus three one-year option periods running through FY ’18. The contract restricted each option year to have up to 52 SM-3s (Defense Daily, Dec. 21, 2015).

SM-3 IB interceptors are deployed on U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers, Kongo-class Japanese destroyers, and the Aegis Ashore site in Romania. The missiles are used to defend against short and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

The company highlighted that the SM-3 IB was successfully used in a live-fire integrated air and missile defense exercise during Formidable Shield 2017 last October off the coast of Scotland (Defense Daily, Oct. 16, 2017).

In the exercise, a U.S. Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyer, the USS Donald Cook (DDG-75), detected, tracked, and intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target while simultaneously a Spanish frigate fired an Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (EESM) against an incoming anti-ship cruise missile target and a Netherlands frigate also fired ESSMs against a pair of other incoming anti-ship cruise missile targets.

“Standard Missile-3 plays a critical role in the missile defense of the U.S. and its allies. The missile’s deployment on land and at sea makes it invaluable to upper-tier missile defense in Europe and for U.S. naval forces,” Dr. Mitch Stevison, vice president of Raytheon’s Air and Missile Defense Systems, said in a statement.

The 33 interceptors will be produced at the company’s Tuscon, Ariz., facility while integration will occur at its integration facility in Huntsville, Ala.