Watch a Navy missile interceptor scream into the sky

The Navy successfully tested its short range ballistic missile last week, destroying a complex moving target that soared over the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, May 15.

May 16, 2013: A Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block 1B interceptor is launched from the USS LAKE ERIE (CG 70) during a Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy test in the mid-Pacific. (U.S. MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY)

An exclusive video released to shows the missile screaming from the USS Lake Erie into the skies, where it destroyed an incoming missile target through sheer kinetic force. Raytheon, the manufacturer of the SM-3 Block 1B missile, labeled it a success.

“This test scenario was designed to challenge the discrimination capabilities of the SM-3 Block IB,” said Dr. Mitch Stevison, Raytheon SM-3 program director. “What we learned from this mission gives me great confidence in the missile’s production readiness.”

The test, code-named Stellar Hecate after a Greek goddess of magic, marks the 23rd successful intercept for the SM-3 program. And it seems President Obama agreed with the missile’s readiness: On Tuesday, production is set to begin on a batch of missiles at the company’s new Redstone Missile Integration Facility in Huntsville, Ala., that will be deployed out to U.S. Navy ships.

Raytheon has spent decades perfecting this class of missile, the company said.

"Because we've been perfecting this technology for 60 years, we've seen it expand from defending ships to defending continents,” said Dr. Taylor Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems. “As we look back on all that has been accomplished in the last six decades, we can't help but recognize that what was impossible yesterday, is possible today."



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