Analysis: Standard Missile SM-3 makes successful missile intercept using satellite tracking data and Royal Navy might need similar (Updated)20 Feb 2013, 11:10 UTC
On 13 February, the Raytheon Company announced that its Standard Missile SM-3 Block IA was fired from the USS Lake Erie and successfully destroyed a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) target using tracking data from two Space Tracking and Surveillance System-Demonstrator (STSS-D) satellites in low Earth orbit carrying sensor payloads able to detect infrared and visible light. The MRBM target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. As it rose above the horizon, the target was acquired and tracked by STSS-D. Threat data was then relayed through the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications (C2BMC) system to the ship. The ship’s crew fired the SM-3 based on STSS track data and before the ship’s radar acquired the target.
“STSS-D’s unique vantage point in space allows the sensor payload to see the threat early in its trajectory and provide launch quality data sooner than nearly any other option,” said Bill Hart, vice president of Space Systems for Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business. “We can give our naval warfighters extra time to analyze and respond, by providing target data before the ship can track the threat. That’s a tremendous advantage.
This test result – the 21st success according ...