Latest SM-3 Misses Target in its First Intercept Test

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The first test of the newest version of sea-based missile interceptors Raytheon Co. builds for the U.S. Navy ended Sept. 1 without an intercept, according to the Missile Defense Agency.

Program officials are investigating what prevented a Standard Missile (SM)-3 Block 1B interceptor missile launched from the USS Lake Erie cruiser from hitting its target, a short-range ballistic missile fired 90 seconds earlier from the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii.

There have been 22 intercepts in 27 at-sea attempts since flight testing of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System began in 2002.

Among the successful attempts was the February 2008 shoot down of a malfunctioning U.S. satellite by a specially modified SM-3 Block 1A missile in February 2008.

The first SM-3 Block 1 was completed in 2004.