Microwave Journal

Raytheon Missile and Radar Play Critical Roles in Satellite Intercept

April 15, 2008

Raytheon Co. played a pivotal role in the February 20th successful intercept of a non-functioning satellite. The company’s Standard Missile-3 was specially modified for its unique operation, performing beyond its intended capabilities to intercept the target 153 miles over the Pacific Ocean. Much engineering and technical expertise went into modifying the software on three SM-3 missiles for this one-time mission. Throughout the process, Raytheon engineers worked closely with its customer to ensure mission success.

At the same time, the Sea-based X-band radar, designed and built by Raytheon, tracked the satellite prior to the missile engagement and performed the hit assessment afterward. The radar performs the critical functions of cuing, tracking and discriminating a target. Its home port is Adak, Alaska, located approximately midway along the Aleutian Islands chain.