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SM-3s

This is a discussion on SM-3s within the Missiles & WMDs forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by jpbultra Do you think they will order more of the SM-3 Block 1A since it works and ...


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Old April 25th, 2011   #31
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Do you think they will order more of the SM-3 Block 1A since it works and Block 1B hasn't even had a flight test yet?
They haven’t even had their first test of the SM-3 block IIA yet. But since they are reusing many parts and technologies already in use in other variants the critical path does not appear to be a risky one. The SM-3 block IIB is going to be a completely new animal and at this point no one can say how long it will take to develop or to test. That is I think will be the deciding factor.
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Old April 25th, 2011   #32
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[QUOTE=rip;218744]They haven’t even had their first test of the SM-3 block IIA yet. But since they are reusing many parts and technologies already in use in other variants the critical path does not appear to be a risky one. The SM-3 block IIB is going to be a completely new animal and at this point no one can say how long it will take to develop or to test. That is I think will be the deciding factor.[/QUOTE

We have been doing r&d for the block 2A and 2B. Im just trying to figure if the 1B is really going to work until 2015 when the block 2a and 2b come in.
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Old April 25th, 2011   #33
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They haven’t even had their first test of the SM-3 block IIA yet. But since they are reusing many parts and technologies already in use in other variants the critical path does not appear to be a risky one. The SM-3 block IIB is going to be a completely new animal and at this point no one can say how long it will take to develop or to test. That is I think will be the deciding factor.[/QUOTE

We have been doing r&d for the block 2A and 2B. Im just trying to figure if the 1B is really going to work until 2015 when the block 2a and 2b come in.
If my memory serves me correctly the SM-3B block II is still out for bids and they haven’t selected a prime contractor yet but I could be wrong. The last test they just shoot I believe was SM-3 block IB with the two color seeker and it worked. If it passed all of its test points only the insiders know.
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Old April 25th, 2011   #34
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If my memory serves me correctly the SM-3B block II is still out for bids and they haven’t selected a prime contractor yet but I could be wrong.
that is correct, its out of Raytheon, Lockheed, and Boeing
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Old April 25th, 2011   #35
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If my memory serves me correctly the SM-3B block II is still out for bids and they haven’t selected a prime contractor yet but I could be wrong. The last test they just shoot I believe was SM-3 block IB with the two color seeker and it worked. If it passed all of its test points only the insiders know.
no they shot 1A last week and it worked...1B might have it first flight test this summer
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Old April 26th, 2011   #36
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It seems from open sources that the systems, as it is currently planned will be developed so that eventually the SM-3 block II A and later the planed and even longer rang block II B variant, be these msilliles land based or sea based, will be the first line of defense in the terminal area of engagement. The second layer at sea will be the Sm-3 Block I variants, and then lower down SM-2 variants. On land after the SM-3 block II variants it will be the High Altitude theater area defense (THAAD) then PAC III. They may eventually discontinue the SM-3 block I variants and Quid pack (THAAD) missiles in ship strike length launchers they may do this for many reasons.

Ground-Based Midcourse Defense systems still under development is seen useful only for use agenest ICBM’s and so far has had a troubled history but if the past is any indication they will eventually it up and running.

I have even at this long length, vastly simplified all the issues and the choices. There are many things of note I have not even brought up. But I hope these few paragraphs have cleared up some of the general questions and the SM-3 development into perspective.
How serious are the US Military in developing a land-based SM-3? This seems to be a direct competition of the THAAD?

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The SM-3 block IIB is going to be a completely new animal and at this point no one can say how long it will take to develop or to test. That is I think will be the deciding factor.
I wonder if they should give the IIB a different designation if it is that big an improvement of the current SM-3. Maybe call it the SM-7?
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Old April 26th, 2011   #37
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How serious are the US Military in developing a land-based SM-3? This seems to be a direct competition of the THAAD?
THAAD has a 200km range, and is optimized to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate ballistic missiles in their terminal phase. SM-3 has a 500km range, and is designed for exo-atmospheric interception of IRBM and ICBM in an area defense role

Which is best depends on what you want it to do. THAAD can intercept in the atmosphere, but SM-3 cannot. The SM-3 is 3x faster than THAAD and much better at crossing intercepts.

The proposed ground based interceptors to stop IRBMs from Iran to be stationed in Eastern Europe would be SM-3s. The Russian Iskander ballistic missile uses a ‘suppressed trajectory’ that is supposed to keep it below the level that the SM-3 can make an interception.
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Old May 28th, 2012   #38
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If my memory serves me correctly the SM-3B block II is still out for bids and they haven’t selected a prime contractor yet but I could be wrong.
How will this work? Raytheon is the manufacture for the SM-1, SM-2, SM-3 and SM-6. Can the USG just give the drawings to Lockheed or Boeing if they win the SM-3 block 2B contest?
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Old May 28th, 2012   #39
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How will this work? Raytheon is the manufacture for the SM-1, SM-2, SM-3 and SM-6. Can the USG just give the drawings to Lockheed or Boeing if they win the SM-3 block 2B contest?
Assuming that the SM-3 block 2B makes significant changes in the design, then much of the Raytheon design may not be relevant.

Besides, the Prime Contractor is often not the one who actually builds the pieces, just the one who oversees the process, and maybe assembles the final product. Hopefully the prime has people experienced enough to spot when subcontractor designs are diverging or failing to perform. Even Raytheon worked this way as the prime.

Lastly, if you keep using the same prime then you are likely to get stuck with a NIH philosophy that blocks anything other than incremental improvements in performance (lighter parts and faster electronics for the most part), because they know how it has to be done. If you want a fundamental rethink of the concept (clean sheet of paper) you almost have to get an outsider. And frankly, neither Lockheed or Boeing would really qualify.

As examples I would offer the classic example, the Sidewinder missile, which was not developed by industry, but as a private project at the Naval Air Weapons Station. Another would be the ‘Land Warrior’, which, while it eventually failed, only achieved a critical weight reduction, performance improvement, and cost reduction AFTER it was transferred from Hughes Aerospace to a Silicon Valley startup.
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Old May 28th, 2012   #40
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How will this work? Raytheon is the manufacture for the SM-1, SM-2, SM-3 and SM-6. Can the USG just give the drawings to Lockheed or Boeing if they win the SM-3 block 2B contest?
If the USG owns the IP for the missile then yes it can. Doesn't happen very often though.
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Old May 29th, 2012   #41
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If the USG owns the IP for the missile then yes it can. Doesn't happen very often though.
It's pretty much what happened with Colt on M16 manufacture - caused a minor furore as I believe Colt started muttering about their design drawings not being updated but effectively manufacture just got handed to FN a long time ago. Helps keep the contractors sharp I suppose
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Old May 29th, 2012   #42
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If the USG owns the IP for the missile then yes it can. Doesn't happen very often though.
Have seen State do some bizarre things wrt IP - quite a few don't realise that the IP lies with USG and not the vendor when FMS kicks in.
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Old May 30th, 2012   #43
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Assuming that the SM-3 block 2B makes significant changes in the design, then much of the Raytheon design may not be relevant.

Besides, the Prime Contractor is often not the one who actually builds the pieces, just the one who oversees the process, and maybe assembles the final product. Hopefully the prime has people experienced enough to spot when subcontractor designs are diverging or failing to perform. Even Raytheon worked this way as the prime.

Lastly, if you keep using the same prime then you are likely to get stuck with a NIH philosophy that blocks anything other than incremental improvements in performance (lighter parts and faster electronics for the most part), because they know how it has to be done. If you want a fundamental rethink of the concept (clean sheet of paper) you almost have to get an outsider. And frankly, neither Lockheed or Boeing would really qualify.

As examples I would offer the classic example, the Sidewinder missile, which was not developed by industry, but as a private project at the Naval Air Weapons Station. Another would be the ‘Land Warrior’, which, while it eventually failed, only achieved a critical weight reduction, performance improvement, and cost reduction AFTER it was transferred from Hughes Aerospace to a Silicon Valley startup.
From what I've read so far, the Block 2B's most prominent feature/requirement is "early intercept". I believe this is killing the ballistic missile during it's boost phase or before it goes into the exo-atmosphere.

This will surely mean a different interceptor -- perhaps something similar to a PAC3's or THAAD's.

But my understanding is that, this will still be essentially an SM-3... meaning, it will be guided by the same radars/sensors, and same rockets, etc.

Or are all these mere speculations on my part and it could be an entirely new missile which could do both early intercept and exo-atmospheric kill?

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Have seen State do some bizarre things wrt IP - quite a few don't realise that the IP lies with USG and not the vendor when FMS kicks in.
Can countries buy any US military hardware outside an FMS?
Who owns the IP when you do licensed production?
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Old May 30th, 2012   #44
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From what I've read so far, the Block 2B's most prominent feature/requirement is "early intercept". I believe this is killing the ballistic missile during it's boost phase or before it goes into the exo-atmosphere.
“Early intercept” means that the SM-3 will intercept the target between the end of the boost phase and before missile warhead(s) separate from the body. It is a shorthand for “early mid-course interception”, and is definitely an exo-atmospheric kill. There is significant doubts as to whether or not this is practical due to the narrow interception window, which could be easily narrowed even more by separating the warheads as soon as possible. The ‘early intercept’ will also require a massive upgrade in observation capabilities to spot and confirm/reject missile launches, as opposed to the missiles themselves, to be an effective tactic.

See SM-3 Antimissile System Receives Key Backing at Pentagon | Global Security Newswire | NTI

Boost phase interception is a panacea concept that is only possible if you can put your interception capability in the country from which the target missiles will be launched (tail chase scenario, the interceptor is likely to be bigger than the target ballistic missile), very fast (laser), or in low orbit space directly above them (For IRBMs and ICBMs only, unless you have lasers. It could require over 100 of ‘battle stations’ to insure one is in position when needed).
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This will surely mean a different interceptor -- perhaps something similar to a PAC3's or THAAD's.
PAC3 is a tactical BMD and THAAD is a theater BMD, both are endo-atmospheric system. i.e. are designed to work in the atmosphere. SM-3 and the GMD (Ground based Missile Defense) are long ranged systems designed for exo-atmospheric interception and use a KKV (designed by Raytheon). The GMD is the system that would have had an ‘early intercept’ capability. The real argument seems to be that the SM-3 Block 2B can take over the role of the GMD, which was to be deployed around 2020, if the funding for the GMD development is terminated and diverted to the SM-3 Block 2B instead.
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Old May 31st, 2012   #45
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Can countries buy any US military hardware outside an FMS?
Who owns the IP when you do licensed production?
countries still have to get through various gates. they just can't buy US weapons because they want to. States role is to make sure that there are no violations of US law
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