The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), US Navy and Raytheon are planning to conduct the first ICBM intercept test with an SM-3 Block IIA missile later this year.
According to a report in Naval News, the ballistic missile defense test – codenamed FTM-44 – is scheduled to be conducted in mid-2020 over the Pacific Missile Range. The ICBM will be a representative ICBM T2 (Type 2) built by Northrop Grumman, and the SM-3 will be launched from a US Navy Aegis Arleigh Burke class destroyer or Ticonderoga class cruiser.
The SM-3 Block IIA is a joint development program between the US’s Raytheon and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and is planned to intercept short and medium-range targets with ranges between 300km and 5,500km with a kinetic hit-to-kill warhead.
Naval News says the ICBM-T2 is a dummy missile based on a refurbished Trident-C4 SLBM with two Pegasus stages used to simulate ICBM warheads, and has been used before to conduct several previous ground-based mid-course defence (GMD) tests.