USS Lake Erie GMMs

Hey Rick - did those GMMs on the Lake Erie do good, or what???

To paraphrase an old Hank Williams song, “You act proud and I’ll act prouder.”

I’d like to buy the entire crew a beer. All of them. From the Snipe shovelling coal, to the Bosun behind the steering wheel, to the Fire Controlman who pulled the trigger. They ALL done good.


Yes Ray

Those boys made me proud. I think the article I read mentioned they hit it at 100+ miles! Hope the get a BIG E for that shot.


Remember, this is a direct contact hit, not an explosive warhead from what I understand.
When the boys (and girls, nowadays) from the USS Lake Erie are ready for a second round, I’ll be proud to buy! (Beer, that is, I cannot afford $10M per round cost of the SM-3!)

Speaking of ammo. Here 'tis:


You can bet on one thing though, the Hydozine fuel had NOTHING to do with the WHY they shot that satillite down.
It was done to protect the secrets of the technology onboard.

Also to make a point and send a message.

Does that warhead/nose cone retain its ballistic shape at impact, or does it open or fragment in some way? Seems like it would be easier to swat a fly with an open hand than with a finger tip.


Working from 30+ years memory, the answer to your question is probably a definite NO; the warhead explodes. While there a few different warheads out there, I would think, to get better odds, that a continuos rod warhead was used. I don’t recall any specs, but the rod expanded vs fragmented, and any aircraft struck would start loosing pieces of airframe.

While the SM-3 is certainly more advanced than the below diagrammed
RIM-66, I would venture the layout is similar and utilizes one of various explosive devices to do the intended job.
The pointy end contained the TDD(Target Detection Device), which is way more advanced now, followed by an electronic homing radar or the warhead.
The old ones were guided by director radar from the ship. I’m pretty sure the new ones are homing in the terminal phase of flight with shipboard radars mainly just giving it good advice.

The RIM-67 was basically a RIM-66 with a booster attached. Impressive when fired. Lots of noise and smoke. AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!


And lots of cheering and yelling too, I’ll bet.


I was asking in reference to John’s comment. I thought I heard a similar statement on a news broadcast.

I heard there was contact. Never saw a “blank” missile round tho. All the Navy SAMs had warheads of some sort, even the TSAMs. Can’t imagine the powers that be would chance a miss without the added benefit of HE. I’d gone Nuke, but that’s me. Good on 'em if they did make a direct hit at what I now hear was 153 miles! Besides saving the world from falling sattelite chunks, the sword rattling was deafening.

Unlike the old “expanding rod” exposive warheads on AA missiles, the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense SM-3 (BMD/SM-3) uses a kinetic warhead designed for this mission. The BMD NOT the same round as the usual Aegis AAW round.

The BMD Kinetic Warhead ejects from the SM-3 shortly prior to intercept, tracking the target with its infrared seeker and then homing to a kinetic hit-to-kill intercept.

Since ballistic missiles are rather hard targets (to survive re-entry) an expanding rod type warhead would probably not do much damage, although they are sufficient to cause more fragile aircraft to start falling apart with just a small contact.

And here’s a picture of the warhead (kinetic) as described by John.

A little “busier” in its design than I had imagined.

And here’s a pic of the SM-3: