Upgraded US missile interceptor protecting Europe fails

  • Jakub Maděránek
  • 5.2.2018 11:35

The US Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA interceptor of the Aegis missile defence system failed to stop a dummy air-launched intermediate-range missile during an exercise on 31 January, near Kauai, Hawaii. This was the second unsuccessful test of the interceptor which is to gain operation capability status in 2018 and which could potentially protect Poland and other European countries against ballistic missiles.

SM-3 Block IIA interceptor is a joint project of American firm Raytheon and Japanese Mitsubishi, costing $3 billion in development so far. Under the European Phased Adaptive Approach program (EPAA), 24 missiles of this type will be also deployed in Poland. Furthermore, the land-based interceptors site is in operation at the Romanian base in Devesel using the older type SM-3 Block IB interceptors. An upgrade is considered even for the base in Romania, whose primary objective is the medium-range missiles available in the inventories of North Korea and Iran.


European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA)

Phase Timeframe Location System Interceptor Sensors
One Deployed, 2011 Mediterranean Sea, Rota, Spain Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Capable Ships SM-3 Block IA AN/TPY-2 deployed to Turkey, Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) upgrades to the air operations center in Ramstein Air Base, Germany [4]
Two IOC Declared, 2016 Romania Aegis-Ashore SM-3 Block IB Sensors will be integrated with updated versions of the Aegis combat system. By FY2015 BMD ships will carry versions 3.6.1, 4.0.1, and 5.0 [5]
Three 2018 Poland Aegis-Ashore SM-3 Block IIA Precision Tracking Space System (PTSS) and Airborne Infrared (ABIR) sensor platforms, Aegis BMD ships to be equipped with version 5.1 of the combat system software [6]
Four Cancelled     SM-3 Block IIB  
About author: Jakub Maděránek

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