TUCSON, May 6 (UPI) -- Raytheon reports that its supersonic Standard Missile-6 system deployed on U.S. Navy cruisers and destroyers has advanced to full-rate production status.
The ramp up from low-rate production means an increase in the number of missiles produced and more opportunities for lowering unit costs, it said.
"SM-6 is proven against a broad range of advanced threats, which makes it very valuable to combatant commanders who need and want that flexibility," said Mike Campisi, Standard Missile-6 senior program director. "Full-rate production allows us to significantly ramp up production and deliver to the U.S. Navy the quantities it needs to further increase operational effectiveness."
Earlier this year the Navy announced an expansion in the use of the air defense missile -- from five ships to 35 ships. Initially, the SM-6 was only configured for use by ships using an Aegis radar combat weapons system known as baseline nine. It is now being integrated with software and electronics used in earlier Aegis Combat Weapon System baselines.
The Navy deployed the SM-6 in December of last year and Raytheon has so far produced more than 180 of the weapons for the service.
The SM-6 is for defense against manned and unmanned aircraft and land-attack and anti-ship cruise missiles. It uses active and semi-active guidance modes and advanced fuzing technologies.