Partner News

U.S. Completes First Successful SM-3 Block IIA Intercept Test

Written by: developer

SACRAMENTO, Calif.  (Feb. 4, 2017) – Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AJRD), announced today that its propulsion systems supported the first intercept flight test of Raytheon’s Standard Missile-3 Block IIA guided missile.

During the SFTM-01 flight test conducted by the U.S. Navy and Missile Defense Agency, the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor was launched from the USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53).  The intercept test was designed to prove the effectiveness of the larger and faster SM-3 Block IIA variant in intercepting a medium range ballistic missile.

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s MK 72 booster provided the first-stage propulsion on the SM-3 Block IIA and the company’s Throttling Divert and Attitude Control System (TDACS) maneuvered the kinetic warhead to successfully impact the ballistic missile target.

Aerojet Rocketdyne recently completed a successful altitude test of the Qual-2 TDACS at the company’s Sacramento, California, facility in September.  This was the first of two planned qualification tests, and was a pivotal milestone leading to the successful intercept test.

“The SM-3 Block IIA TDACS is the next evolution of the extremely successful SM-3 Block IB TDACS,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake.  “The SM-3 Block IIA TDACS allows a significantly greater area to be defended and is more producible.”

The SM-3 Block IIA represents the newest generation of U.S. missile defense capabilities and is a key component of the European Phased Adaptive Approach for deployment at-sea and ashore.  Larger rocket motors and key technology improvements increase the area that can be defended by missile defense efforts and increase the probability of intercept against a larger threat set.  With the success of this intercept flight test, the SM-3 Block IIA is on track for deployment on land and at sea in 2018.

Aerojet Rocketdyne is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets.  Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at and


Glenn Mahone,
Aerojet Rocketdyne, 202.302.9941
[email protected]

Lynn Machon
Aerojet Rocketdyne, 916-355-3587
[email protected]