Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has awarded a contract to Raytheon for continued development of the Stunner advanced multi-mission, multi-platform interceptor, designed for integration into current and future air and missile defence systems.

The $30.2m funding is part of the teaming agreement signed between the two companies in 2009 for cooperation on the development and production of the Stunner interceptor. The funding will finance production of sub-system hardware, including guidance electronics and various safety systems, as well as flight tests and low-rate initial production (LRIP) of the system.

The interceptor will undergo its first flight test in late 2012, followed by initial deployment in Israel in 2013 to provide a missile defence solution for other allied nations worldwide. Stunner is a fire-and-forget missile being developed for use with the David’s Sling Weapon System (DSWS), an Israeli missile defence system that counters short-range and theatre ballistic missiles, large-calibre rockets and cruise missiles.

Raytheon Missile Systems Advanced Security and Directed Energy Systems vice-president Mike Booen said: "The Stunner interceptor redefines the performance-cost-value equation for terminal missile defence and provides all-weather hit-to-kill performance at a tactical missile price."

The stunner is designed for insertion into the DSWS and allied integrated air and missile defence systems for deployment in a variety of engagement scenarios that combine established ground, sea and air-based sensors. The interceptor is equipped with a next-generation dual seeker that enables the missile to detect, track and destroy its target under all visibility and weather conditions, within and beyond its visual range.

Work under the contract will be conducted at Raytheon’s facility in Tucson, Arizona, US. DSWS is a joint programme between the US Missile Defense Agency and the Israel Missile Defense Organisation.