Raytheon has completed a preliminary design review of a critical maneuvering component of a missile interceptor being developed jointly with Japan, the company said in a March 21 press release.

The throttleable divert and attitude control system (TDACS) is a propulsion system with 10 thrust nozzles: four for divert maneuvers and six for attitude control, according to the press release. The propulsion system will enable the Standard Missile (SM)-3 Block 2A interceptor to be able to engage ballistic missiles with great accuracy, the release said.

The SM-3 Block 2A interceptor is a co-development program involving the United States and Japan. The interceptor, which includes larger rocket motors and a kinetic warhead, will be used to protect the United States and its allies from ballistic missile threats, according to the press release. It is scheduled for delivery in 2018.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency is requesting $473.8 million in 2013 for the SM-3 Block 2A program in its latest budget request, a $53.2 million decline from the amount appropriated in 2012, according to budget documents. The U.S. Defense Department warned in January that international cooperative programs in missile defense would not be funded as robustly in 2013 as in years past.