Lockheed Martin announced that the US Missile Defense Agency has awarded it a $43.3 M contract for concept definition and program planning for the Standard Missile-3 Block IIB (SM-3 IIB). The new missile, formerly known as the Next Generation Aegis Missile, will provide early intercept capability against intermediate- and long-range ballistic missile threats. It will be a key element of the fourth phase of the Phased Adaptive Approach, which will provide enhanced capabilities against threats on a global basis. The missile will be integrated into the Aegis Weapon System, with the Aegis BMD 5.1 Fire Control and the MK 41 Vertical Launching System, as part of the land-based Aegis Ashore capability.
“This represents a unique opportunity to develop and field a critical addition to our nation’s missile defense capability, one that complements existing systems,” said Doug Graham, Vice President of Advanced Programs, Strategic and Missile Defense Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. “Working in partnership with the Missile Defense Agency and the US Navy, Lockheed Martin will leverage extensive missile defense interceptor and weapon system integration expertise to deliver a new interceptor that addresses emerging ballistic missile threats, with the flexibility to operate across the globe.”