RIM-161 Standard Missile 3
||This article uses bare URLs for citations. (May 2012)|
A RIM-161 Standard Missile (SM-3) is launched from the Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie
|Type||Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Used by||United States Navy
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
|Unit cost||US$9 million – US$24 million|
|Length||6.55 m (21 ft 6 in)|
|Diameter||0.34 m (13.5 in)|
|Warhead||Lightweight Exo-Atmospheric Projectile (LEAP) kinetic warhead|
|Wingspan||1.57 m (62 in)|
|Propellant||Stage1: MK 72 Booster, solid-fuel, Aerojet
Stage2: MK 104 Dual Thrust Rocket Motor (DTRM), solid-fuel, Aerojet
Stage3: MK 136 Third Stage Rocket Motor (TSRM), solid-fuel, ATK
Stage4: Throttleable Divert and Attitude Control System (TDACS), [Aerojet]
|>500 km (270 nautical miles)|
|Flight ceiling||>160 km (100 miles)|
|Speed||Mach 7.88 or 9,600 km/h|
|GPS/INS/semi-active radar homing/passive LWIR seeker (KW)|
The RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) is a ship-based missile system used by the US Navy to intercept short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles as a part of Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. Although primarily designed as an anti-ballistic missile missile, the SM-3 has also been employed in an anti-satellite capacity against a satellite at the lower end of low Earth orbit. The SM-3 is primarily used and tested by the United States Navy and also operated by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.
The SM-3 evolved from the proven SM-2 Block IV design. The SM-3 uses the same booster and dual thrust rocket motor as the Block IV missile for the first and second stages and the same steering control section and midcourse missile guidance for maneuvering in the atmosphere. To support the extended range of an exo-atmospheric intercept, additional missile thrust is provided in a new third stage for the SM-3 missile, containing a dual pulse rocket motor for the early exo-atmospheric phase of flight.
Operation and performance 
The ship's AN/SPY-1 radar finds the ballistic missile target and the Aegis weapon system calculates a solution on the target. When the missile is ordered to launch, the Aerojet MK 72 solid-fuel rocket booster launches the SM-3 out of the ship's Mark 41 vertical launching system (VLS). The missile then establishes communication with the launching ship. Once the booster burns out, it detaches, and the Aerojet MK 104 solid-fuel dual thrust rocket motor (DTRM) takes over propulsion through the atmosphere. The missile continues to receive mid-course guidance information from the launching ship and is aided by GPS data. The ATK MK 136 solid-fueled third stage rocket motor (TSRM) fires after the second stage burns out, and it takes the missile above the atmosphere (if needed). The TSRM is pulse fired and provides propulsion for the SM-3 until 30 seconds to intercept.
At that point the third stage separates, and the Lightweight Exo-Atmospheric Projectile (LEAP) kinetic warhead (KW) begins to search for the target using pointing data from the launching ship. The Aerojet throttleable divert and attitude control system (TDACS) allows the kinetic warhead to maneuver in the final phase of the engagement. The KW's sensors identify the target, attempt to identify the most lethal part of the target and steers the KW to that point. If the KW intercepts the target, it provides 130 megajoules (96,000,000 ft·lbf, 31 kg TNT equivalent) of kinetic energy at the point of impact.
Independent studies by some physics experts have raised some significant questions about the missile's success rate in hitting targets. In a published response, the Defense Department claimed that these findings were invalid, as the analysts used some early launches as their data, when those launches were not significant to the overall program. The DoD stated:
...the first tests [used] prototype interceptors; expensive mock warheads weren’t used in the tests since specific lethality capability wasn’t a test objective—the objective was to hit the target missile. Contrary to the assertions of Postol and Lewis, all three tests resulted in successful target hits with the unitary ballistic missile target destroyed. This provided empirical evidence that ballistic missile intercepts could in fact be accomplished at sea using interceptors launched from Aegis ships.
After successful completion of these early developmental tests, the test program progressed from just “hitting the target” to one of determining lethality and proving the operationally configured Aegis SM-3 Block I and SM-3 Block 1A system. These tests were the MDA’s most comprehensive and realistic test series, resulting in the Operational Test and Evaluation Force’s October 2008 Evaluation Report stating that Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Block 04 3.6 System was operationally effective and suitable for transition to the Navy.
Since 2002, a total of 19 SM-3 missiles have been fired in 16 different test events resulting in 16 intercepts against threat-representative full-size and more challenging subscale unitary and full-size targets with separating warheads. In addition, a modified Aegis BMD/SM-3 system successfully destroyed a malfunctioning U.S. satellite by hitting the satellite in the right spot to negate the hazardous fuel tank at the highest closure rate of any ballistic missile defense technology ever attempted.
The authors of the SM-3 study cited only tests involving unitary targets, and chose not to cite the five successful intercepts in six attempts against separating targets, which, because of their increased speed and small size, pose a much more challenging target for the SM-3 than a much larger unitary target missile. They also did not mention the fact the system is successfully intercepting targets much smaller than probable threat missiles on a routine basis, and have attained test scores that many other Defense Department programs aspire to attain.
United States 
Missile defense 
In September 2009, President Obama announced plans to scrap plans for missile defense sites in East Europe, in favor of missile defense systems located on US Navy warships. On 18 September 2009, Russian Prime Minister Putin welcomed Obama's plans for missile defense which may include stationing American Aegis armed warships in the Black Sea. This deployment began to occur that same month, with the deployment of Aegis-equipped warships with the RIM-161 SM-3 missile system, which complements the Patriot systems already deployed by American units.
On February 14, 2008, U.S. officials announced plans to use a modified SM-3 missile launched from a group of three ships in the North Pacific to destroy the failed American satellite USA 193 at an altitude of 130 nautical miles (240 kilometers) shortly before atmospheric reentry, stating that the intention was to "reduce the danger to human beings" due to the release of toxic hydrazine fuel carried on board. A spokesperson stated that software associated with the SM-3 had been modified to enhance the chances of the missile's sensors recognizing that the satellite was its target, since the missile was not designed for ASAT operations.
On February 21, 2008 at 3:26 am (UTC) the USS Lake Erie, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, fired a single SM-3 missile, hit and successfully destroyed the satellite, with a closing velocity of about 22,783 mph (36,667 km/h) while the satellite was 247 kilometers (133 nautical miles) above the Pacific Ocean. USS Decatur, USS Russell as well as other land, air, sea and space-based sensors were involved in the operation.
In December 2007, Japan conducted a successful test of an SM-3 block IA aboard JDS Kongō against a ballistic missile. This was the first time a Japanese ship was employed to launch the interceptor missile during a test of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. In previous tests the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force had provided tracking and communications.
In November 2008 a second Japanese-American joint test was performed from the JDS Chōkai which was unsuccessful. Following a failure review board, JFTM-3 occurred launching from the JDS Myōkō resulting in a successful intercept in October 2009.
October 28, 2010 a successful test was performed from the JDS Kirishima. The U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai launched the ballistic missile target. The crew of the Kirishima, operating off the coast of Kauai, detected and tracked the target before firing a SM-3 Block IA missile.
On July 3, 2010, Poland and the United States signed an amended agreement for missile defense under whose terms land-based SM-3 systems would be installed in Poland. This configuration was accepted as a tested and available alternative to missile interceptors that were proposed during the Bush administration but which are still under development. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, present at the signing in Kraków along with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, stressed that the missile defense program was aimed at deterring threats from Iran, and posed no challenge to Russia.
In 2010/2011 the US government announced plans to station mobile land-based SM-3s (Block IB) in Romania starting in 2015. US fiscal budget constraints however make it difficult to implement the plan.
Turkish Navy considers the SM-3s for its upcoming TF-2000 frigate program. Instead of Aegis guidance, Turkey plans on integrating a more advanced version of Havelsan's Genesis architecture and a phased array radar built by Aselsan. Genesis is currently jointly offered with Raytheon as a C4ISR upgrade for Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates around the world.
The SM-3 Block IA version provides an incremental upgrade to improve reliability and maintainability at a reduced cost. The SM-3 Block IB, due in 2010, offers upgrades which include an advanced two-color infrared seeker, and a 10-thruster solid throttling divert and attitude control system (TDACS/SDACS) on the kill vehicle to give it improved capability against maneuvering ballistic missiles or warheads. Solid TDACS is a joint Raytheon/Aerojet project, but Boeing supplies some components of the kinetic warhead. With Block IB and associated ship-based upgrades, the Navy gains the ability to defend against medium range missiles and some Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles. SM-3 Block II will widen the missile body to 21 in and decrease the size of the maneuvering fins. It will still fit in Mk41 vertical launch systems, and the missile will be faster and have longer range. The SM-3 Block IIA will add a larger diameter kill vehicle that is more maneuverable, and carries another sensor/ discrimination upgrade. It’s currently scheduled to debut around 2015, whereupon the Navy will have a weapon that can engage some intercontinental ballistic missiles.
|RIM-161A||SM-3 Block I||Development version. The SM-3 Block I uses the basic SM-2ER Block IVA airframe and propulsion
|RIM-161B||SM-3 Block IA||
|RIM-161C||SM-3 Block IB||Passed critical design review on 13 July 2009.
|RIM-161D||SM-3 Block II||
|None to date||SM-3 Block IIA||
- Ronald O'Rourke (2011-04-19), Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress (PDF), Federation of American Scientists, retrieved 2011-05-29
- Raytheon RIM-161 Standard SM-3
- Raytheon Completes SM-3 Test Flight Against Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile, Raytheon Company, Retrieved 6 September 2011
- Pentagon news briefing of February 14, 2008 (video, transcript): although no name for the satellite is given, the launch date of December 14, 2006 is stated
- "RIM-161 SM-3 Upgrades". 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
- Lehner, Richard (May 18, 2010), "Missile Defense Agency Responds to New York Times Article", DoD Live, archived from the original on July 18, 2011, retrieved October 13, 2012
- Raytheon's SM-3 fact sheet
- Review Cites Flaws in U.S. Antimissile Program, By WILLIAM J. BROAD and DAVID E. SANGER, New York Times, May 17, 2010.
- Obama's 'Proven' SM-3 Missile Interceptor May Only Succeed 20 Percent of the Time, Say Physicists, By Clay Dillow, Popular Science, 05.18.2010.
- A Flawed and Dangerous U.S. Missile Defense Plan, George N. Lewis and Theodore A. Postol.
- NY Times article, 9/18/09.
- Russia's Putin praises Obama's missile defense decision, LA Times, 9/19/09.
- No missile defense in Eastern Europe, foreignpolicy.com, 9/17/09.
- Article on Sm-3 missile system, strategypage.com, 10/4/09.
- "Navy Uses Raytheon SM-3 and Space Sensor to Destroy Missile Target."
- "Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Intercepts Target Using Space Tracking and Surveillance System-Demonstrators Data."
- Lolita C. Baldor, The Associated Press (2008-02-15). "US to Try to Shoot Down Spy Satellite". Washington Post.
- "DefenseLink News Transcript: DoD News Briefing with Deputy National Security Advisor Jeffrey, Gen. Cartwright and NASA Administrator Griffin". 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
- "Satellite Shoot Down: How It Will Work". Space.com. February 19, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
- "Navy Hits Satellite With Heat-Seeking Missile". Space.com. February 21, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
- "Navy Succeeds In Intercepting Non-Functioning Satellite" (Press release). U.S. Navy. February 20, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-20. Unknown parameter
- "AFP: Japan shoots down test missile in space: defence minister". 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
- MDA press release. 17 December 2007.
- JFTM-2 & 3 dates
- US, Poland Sign Revised Missile Defense Accord http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/library/news/2010/space-100703-voa01.htm
- Romania Agrees to Host Ballistic Missile Interceptor http://www.america.gov/st/eur-english/2010/February/20100204155405esnamfuak0.8593866.html
- "Land-Based SM-3s for Israel - and Others?". 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
- "RIM-161 SM-3 (AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense)". 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
- Raytheon Standard Missile-3 Block IB Completes Major Development Milestone
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: RIM-161 Standard Missile 3|
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- Pros and Cons of Missile Shield in Romania 2010
- U.S. Navy Fact File: Standard Missile
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- Astronautix.com - Raytheon RIM-161 Standard SM-3
- Obama Shifts Gears on Missile Defense, by Cole Harvey, armscontrol.org, October 2009.