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The $8 million SM3 missile is loaded to the bow of the ship — an SM2 has already been loaded into the launcher at the Erie's aft. A land-based crane gently raises the missile, which is inside a white square casing with a black cone on top. You can see the height of the SM3, but the shape is obscured by the protective outside. The crane gets it vertical and into position, it is then slid into the silo. Within the next two hours, torpedoes and harpoons are also on board and we are off and away.