(From Reuters)

The United States and Japan announced on Sunday the first live-fire test of Raytheon Co’s new Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missile that is being jointly developed by the two countries for several billion dollars.

Rick Lehner, spokesman for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, said the test conducted on Saturday from the Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of California was a success.

Lehner said the United States spent just over $2 billion on the weapons program, while Japan contributed about $1 billion.

The SM-3 IIA is a 21-inch variant of an earlier SM-3 missile, which works with the U.S. Aegis combat system built by Lockheed Martin Corp to destroy incoming ballistic missile threats in space. Read more

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