Standard Missile projects.

IIRC enhanced Neutron Flux was the reason why the weapons inside SPRINT and SPARTAN were literally gold plated.

Only the Spartan's W71 had gold in its secondary and that was to ensure a specific X-ray flux was generated when it detonated. The Sprint's W66 was basically an ER warhead aka a neutron-bomb.
 
I just stumbled across this newly uploaded video copy of a 1980s General Dynamics Pomona Division film to do with the Standard Missile.


1980's film about early US Navy surface-to-air missile development leading up to the RIM-66 / RIM-67 Standard Missile and AGM-78 Standard ARM. Nice footage of the Terrier, Tartar, and Standard Missile. General Dynamics - Pomona
 
I was just checking my smartphone and looking on the Google homepage when this very interesting news article appeared:

US Navy warships shot down Iranian missiles with a weapon they've never used in combat before

We already know that some of the USN's missile cruisers stationed near Israel shot down some of the cruise-missiles and MRBMs fired at Israel by Iran with this being the combat debut of the SM-3 however no information yet as how many if any of the SM-3s fired intercepted a ballistic missile.

  1. US Navy warships fired SM-3s to intercept Iranian ballistic missiles last weekend.
  2. Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro confirmed the use of the SM-3 during a Tuesday hearing.
  3. It's the first time that the exo-atmospheric interceptor has been used in combat.
US Navy warships used a missile interceptor for the first time in combat over the weekend while defending Israel from an unprecedented Iranian attack.

Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said American forces fired the Standard Missile 3, or SM-3, to engage Iranian ballistic missiles that were fired as part of the massive barrage, which included more than 300 missiles and drones launched from Tehran and its proxies.

"We've been firing SM-2s, we've been firing SM-6s, and just over the weekend, SM-3s, to actually counter the ballistic missile threat that's come from Iran," Del Toro said at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense hearing on Tuesday.




From the SM-3 wikipedia article:

Missile Defence

The first use of the SM-3 in combat occurred during the 2024 Iranian strikes in Israel. USS Carney and USS Arleigh Burke used four to seven missiles[49] to shoot down at least six Iranian ballistic missiles.[50]

As far as I know there's no indication whether the SM-3s fired were Block-IBs or Block-IIs
 
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Do they still use IAs?

Very unlikely, according to the SM-3 wiki article in the variants section the Block-IA was the initial operational variant:
  • 1-color seeker
  • Solid divert attitude control system (SDACS)
Which was followed by the Block-IB variant in 2010:

Passed critical design review on 13 July 2009.
  • 2-color IIR seeker
  • Throttleable divert attitude control system (TDACS)
  • All-reflective optics
  • Advanced signal processor
Any Block-IA rounds that hadn't been fired in development tests would've been sent back to Raytheon in 2010 to be upgraded to the Block-IB variant.
 
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As far as I know there's no indication whether the SM-3s fired were Block-IBs or Block-IIs
My guess would be Block 1Bs, not Block 2A. older and less capable, but also more easily replaced because the rockets are older.
 
My guess would be Block 1Bs, not Block 2A. older and less capable, but also more easily replaced because the rockets are older.

Good points BUT I could see at least one Block-2A being firing just to see how it performs in an actual combat situation, a trial by fire.
 
Good points BUT I could see at least one Block-2A being firing just to see how it performs in an actual combat situation, a trial by fire.
I'd be surprised if there are any in the theater. Is it even done with testing? Pretty sure they only have a handful at this point.
 
Is it even done with testing? Pretty sure they only have a handful at this point.

It's possible there might've been one or two onboard, from the RIM-161 wikipedia article:

On 16 November 2022, the guided-missile destroyer Maya fired an SM-3 Block IIA missile, successfully intercepting the target outside the atmosphere in the first launch of the missile from a Japanese warship.

That test firing was about 18 months ago so the RIM-161D could be in limited operational service, the USN no doubt wants to see it combat tested ASAP.
 
It has been "bloodied" now if reports are correct.

Anyone ever hid a warhead in a nose-cone hoping to be ignored? For larger missiles.
 
Anyone ever hid a warhead in a nose-cone hoping to be ignored? For larger missiles.
“Hmmm that contact is on a trajectory towards our airbase should we intercept it?”

“Nah, it’s just a nosecone.”

I don’t know if this has specifically been done but pen aids are fairly common with even smaller systems like Iskander deploying small rf decoys. The question of employment depends on how much spare throw/maneuvering bus weight you have.

There’s some fantastically complex pen-aid schemes in existence almost none of which we know anything more than rough outlines of.
 
with even smaller systems like Iskander deploying small rf decoys.

RF penaids like those carried by the SS-26 Stone wouldn't work against the SM-3's EKV as it uses a two-colour IIR seeker not an RF-seeker.
 
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RF penaids like those carried by the SS-26 Stone wouldn't against the SM-3's EKV as it uses a two-colour IIR seeker not an RF-seeker.
They wouldn’t but to my knowledge they’re also only for terminal stage though solely RF decoys could mess with cuing.

It’s a moot point because I don’t think the 9K720 has an apogee above the minimum SM-3 engagement altitude.
 
Something that occurred earlier today is that there's already been an opportunity for the USN to combat test the SM-3 Block-II and that's in the Red Sea intercepting ballistic missiles launched by Houthi terrorists.
 
Something that occurred earlier today is that there's already been an opportunity for the USN to combat test the SM-3 Block-II and that's in the Red Sea intercepting ballistic missiles launched by Houthi terrorists.
Those are far shorter range than the missiles Iran used in their attack. As such, if they ever do enter SM-3 engagement envelopes, cuing in time to hit them would be difficult.

Terminal interception is about all you can realistically do in that situation on the BMD side.
 
Something that occurred earlier today is that there's already been an opportunity for the USN to combat test the SM-3 Block-II and that's in the Red Sea intercepting ballistic missiles launched by Houthi terrorists.
You wouldn't waste an SM-3 on that sky trash.
 
Something that occurred earlier today is that there's already been an opportunity for the USN to combat test the SM-3 Block-II and that's in the Red Sea intercepting ballistic missiles launched by Houthi terrorists.

Those are probably too low of an altitude for SM-3 even if it was desirable. SM-6 apparently has been used there.
 
Here's an interesting video from the Naval News channel concerning several Raytheon projects including the SM-6:


Interview with Gerry Hueber, requirements and capabilities' vice president for the naval power business at Raytheon, during Sea Air Space 2024.
Hueber sheds light on the following topics:
01:29 - SM-6 including its latest at-sea test with the MDA
02:51 - ESSM Block 2
03:37 - Australia's Guided Weapons Explosive Ordnance Enterprise
04:45 - Challenges to ramping up missile production in the US
 
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I think this is the right thread to post it in anyway here's this interesting Defense Updates video about the USN re-arming at sea:


There has been a lingering concern regarding the inability to reload missiles in US warships at sea.Currently, the warships have to return to base for this purpose.
This issue has again come into focus with the US Navy’s recent operations in the Red Sea.Arleigh Burke-class destroyers had fired more than 100 Standard family surface-to-air missiles from Mk-41 cells at Houthi missiles and drones for interception.This clearly indicates that against a near-peer adversary like China, in a large-scale conflict, frontline American warships could run off of missiles very quickly.
In this video, Defense Updates analyzes why Congress is pushing the US Navy on ‘At-Sea’ rearmament ?
Chapters:
00:11 INTRODUCTION
01:42 Mk-41 VLS RELOAD
03:13 CONCERN RAISED
04:02 US NAVY’s EFFORTS
05:42 TRAM (Transportable Re-Arming Mechanism )
07:10 ANALYSIS
 
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Defense Updates has just uploaded a video concerning the recent test-firing of a PAC-3 MSE interceptor from a Mk-70 containerised launcher:


Lockheed Martin has test-fired a Patriot PAC-3 MSE interceptor from a Mk 70-series containerized launcher and used it to down a mock cruise missile. A modular and scalable version of the company's combat-proven Aegis Combat System called the Virtualized Aegis Weapon System, was used to execute the launch.This has the potential to be a game changer since this combination offers a valuable additional air and missile defense option for use in a slew of existing and future launchers, and not just on ships.
In this video, Defense Updates analyzes why the test-fire of an Patriot PAC-3 MSE interceptor from an Mk 70 launcher is a crucial development?
Chapters:
00:11 INTRODUCTION
01:41 LOCKHEED MARTIN INSIGHTS
02:48 PATRIOT PAC-3 MSE INTERCEPTOR
04:21 MK 70 PAYLOAD DELIVERY SYSTEM
05:30 VIRTUALIZED AEGIS WEAPON SYSTEM
06:50 ANALYSIS
 
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Wasn't there a DARPA program in the 1980s to shoot down Soviet bombers with ballistic missiles? I wonder if the SM-6 could do something like that?
 

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