US SM-3 interceptors can take down ballistic missiles at initial flight stage
The US SM-3 antimissile can intercept ballistic missiles at the initial stage of their flight path, First Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operations Department Lieutenant-General Viktor Poznikhir said.
The SM-3 Block IIA has larger rocket motors and a bigger, more capable kill vehicle that allows it to take out threats sooner in flight and protect larger regions of land.
"Russian Defense Ministry research centers have simulated how US ballistic missile defense system elements can be used in a battle," Poznikhir said at the Xiangshan Security Forum in Beijing.
"They found out that the US SM-3 antimissile could intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles not only at the middle stage of their flight path, as the United States has stated, but also at the initial phase of their trajectory," he added.
"This poses a more serious threat to the nuclear potentials of Russia and China as antimissiles of this type will be able to intercept Russian and Chinese ballistic missiles before the separation of their warheads," the general said.
According to him, a SM-3 Block 2A antimissile launched, for example, from a ship in the Baltic Sea can down a Russian intercontinental ballistic missile fired from the European part of Russia at the acceleration phase of its flight.