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  • Jordan Riddle

US Navy Uses Weapon It's Never Used in Combat Before to Shoot Down Iranian Missiles

For the first time ever in combat, US Navy warships fired the SM-3 (Standard Missile 3) to intercept and shoot down the massive barrage of missiles that Iran fired at Israel in an unprecedented attack.


The news was confirmed by Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense hearing.


Prior to this, the US has never used the exo-atmospheric interceptor in combat before.


US Navy Missile Interceptor
The guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald launched a Standard Missile-3 during a joint ballistic-missile defense exercise in the Pacific Ocean in 2012. US Navy photo

It was already known that two US destroyers operating in the Mediterranean Sea had shot down at least 4 Iranian ballistic missiles, however we were just recently made aware that they had used the SM-3 to engage the missiles.


Here's more details on the SM-3, via Business Insider:

The SM-3 is an element of the Navy's advanced Aegis Combat System and uses a kinetic kill vehicle to hit and destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles during the midcourse phase of flight. The SM-3 has the capacity for exo-atmospheric intercepts, meaning it can eliminate targets beyond Earth's atmosphere, unlike the Navy's other air-defense capabilities. "SM-3s are unique due to being the only Standard Missile designed to operate in the vacuum of space," the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank notes in its Missile Defense Project.

2 Comments


Matthew Ruby
Matthew Ruby
4 days ago

If we only used 4 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IIAs that was $111 million!!! Hopefully we won't need to use many of those!

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J Dilley
J Dilley
Apr 24

Go get 'em Navy!! They can run, but they can't hide!!

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