View post tag: US Navy View post tag: Raytheon Photo: An SM-3 Block 1B interceptor is launched from the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) during a Missile Defense Agency test in July 2013 and successfully intercepted a complex short-range ballistic missile target off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii. Photo: US Navy View post tag: SM-3 Share this article The US Missile Defense Agency has awarded Raytheon a $466.9 million contract to produce, test and deliver 44 Standard Missile-3 Block IB interceptors.This is the fiscal year 2018 contract which is part of the initial 2015 contract worth $2.3 billion for planned SM-3 fiscal year 2015-2018 production.The US Navy uses the missiles to provide regional defense against short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles.The SM-3 Block IB interceptor has a two-color infrared seeker and upgraded steering and propulsion capability that direct the missile toward incoming targets, destroying them on impact in space. It has an improved, two-color infrared seeker and an advanced system of guidance rockets that help steer the missile’s kill vehicle into the target’s path. (Photo: U.S. Missile Defense Agency)“Standard Missile-3 plays a critical role in the missile defense of the US and its allies,” said Dr. Mitch Stevison, vice president of Raytheon’s Air and Missile Defense Systems. “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.”The SM-3 IB interceptor was most recently tested in a multinational operational exercise off the coast of Scotland, where it intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target. The IB variant is operational at a land-based site in Romania.Production under this contract will be completed at Raytheon’s Space Factory in Tucson, Arizona, and integration will take place at the company’s integration facility in Huntsville, Alabama.