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November 2013 Issue

US Navy Test Launches two SM-3s
In a Missile Defense Agency test, the U.S. Navy launched two Standard Missile-3 Block IBs from the USS Lake Erie against a complex, separating short-range ballistic missile target.

The SM-3, made by Raytheon Co. (Waltham, Massachusetts), is a defensive weapon used by the U.S. and Japan to defend against short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The weapon is expected to deploy in 2015.

During the test, two SM-3 interceptors were launched at a single target consecutively. The first SM-3 eliminated the target. The second SM-3 was designed to test the ship weapons systemís ability to launch multiple missiles at one time against a threat. An intercept for the second SM-3 was not part of the test scenario.

The test was the 25th successful flight test for the SM-3 program and the fourth back-to-back successful test of the next-generation SM-3 Block IB variant. Based on the SM-3 Block IA currently deployed around the world today, the SM-3 Block IB incorporates an enhanced two-color infrared seeker and the throttleable divert and attitude control system, a mechanism that propels the missile toward incoming targets.

Trident II D5 Missiles Undergo Successful Test Flights
The U.S. Navy has conducted four successful test flights of the Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missiles built by Lockheed Martin Corp. (Bethesda, Maryland). The U.S. Navy launched the unarmed missiles in the Atlantic Ocean from a submerged Ohio-class submarine home-ported at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia.

The Navy launched the missiles as part of follow-on commanderís evaluation tests. The missiles had been converted into test configurations using kits produced by Lockheed Martin that contain range safety devices and flight telemetry instrumentation.

First deployed in 1990, the D5 missile is currently aboard U.S. Navy Ohio-class and U.K. Royal Navy Vanguard-class submarines. The three-stage, solid-propellant, inertial-guided ballistic missile can travel a nominal range of 4,000 nautical miles and carries multiple independently targeted re-entry bodies. The Fleet Ballistic Missile team has produced six generations: the Polaris A1, Polaris A2, Polaris A3, Poseidon C3, Trident I C4 and Trident II D5 missiles.

Lockheed Martin is the Navyís Trident missile prime contractor.

General Dynamics Electric Boat Wins USS Providence Contract
The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat (Groton, Connecticut) a $25.7 million contract to prepare and perform maintenance and modernization work on the USS Providence (SSN-719), a Los Angeles-class attack submarine.

Under the terms of the contract, Electric Boat will perform a dry-docking continuous maintenance availability, which consists of maintenance work, upgrades and modernization activities required to ensure the submarine is operating at full technical capacity. The work will take place at the Electric Boat shipyard in Groton. The work is scheduled for completion in April 2014.

New Zealand, UK Navies Choose Sea Ceptor Radar System
The New Zealand Ministry of Defence has confirmed its preferred tenderers for the Royal New Zealand Navyís ANZAC Frigate Systems Upgrade project to include MBDA (Paris, France) as the provider of Sea Ceptor for the Local Area Air Defence system, subject to the New Zealand governmentís final approval to proceed. Sea Ceptor will equip frigates HMNZ Te Kaha and Te Mana with the latest-generation naval air defense system capable of protecting not only the host ship but also combined joint allied forces in the vicinity.

As an active radar system, Sea Ceptor does not require the dedicated tracker/illuminator radars on which semiactive systems depend. Sea Ceptor deploys the CAMM (Common Anti-Air Modular Missile), which, due to its soft launch technology, requires no efflux management system. This minimizes the systemís mass and footprint, thereby allowing for greater flexibility regarding ship installation positions. CAMM missile canisters are compatible with a wide range of vertical launch systems.

The U.K. Royal Navy also contracted with MBDA for the manufacture of the Sea Ceptor system for its frigate fleet. The U.K. replaced the Seawolf missile system in their Type 23 frigates with Sea Ceptor in September before migrating it to their newbuild Type 26 frigates.

2014:  JAN | FEB | MARCH

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