In a precedent-setting co-development effort between allies, the U.S. and Japan have determined an equitable workshare agreement that defines by missile section the development responsibility between each country.
"This milestone is critical because it moves the SM-3 Block IIA program from design to build," said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems. "Once deployed, SM-3 Block IIA will provide the U.S. and Japan capability to defend larger geographic areas from longer-range ballistic missile threats."
The SM-3 Block IIA program plan included building hardware early, supporting completion of critical subsystem testing prior to CDR. This "hardware rich" approach coupled with the design commonality with previous versions of SM-3 reduces integration risk.
"We worked closely with the Missile Defense Agency to ensure our design plan was well thought out, allowing us to build and test along the way. This method will go a long way toward lowering our risk during future flight testing," said Tim Lardy, Raytheon Missile Systems' SM-3 Block IIA program director.
Over the course of 18 months, the Raytheon-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries team, along with various subcontractors, successfully completed more than 80 rigorous subsystem reviews leading up to the final "system" CDR.