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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Combatant Commanders gain new ballistic missile defense capability through 'threat upgrade' software

SM-3 launchFor the first time ever, Raytheon has begun enhancing Standard Missile-3 Block IBs with 'threat upgrade' software, giving the weapon's kill vehicle the ability to hunt down more complicated, more lethal targets.

Though exact details are classified, the ability to make improvements through software upgrades means combatant commanders can get increased ballistic missile defense capabilities without the time and expense associated with traditional disassembly or hardware replacement.

"We're proving it's possible to significantly improve the SM-3 Block IB's capability without having to go through the process of breaking apart the missile and then rebuilding again," Dr. Mitch Stevison, Standard Missile-3 senior program director.

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