PACIFIC MISSILE FIRING RANGE , Hawaii, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Raytheon's Standard Missile-6 has for the first time intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile in its terminal phase of flight.
The new capability by the modified SM-6 was demonstrated by Raytheon, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Navy.
Raytheon said that for the testing, SM-6 air defense missiles were integrated into the Aegis Weapon System aboard a ship at sea. The first test involved an SM-6 against a ballistic missile target, which was destroyed in the last seconds of its flight. In three additional tests, SM-6s successfully engaged cruise missile targets.
"SM-6 is the only missile in the world that can do both anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defense from sea," said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems. "U.S. Navy commanders want both capability and flexibility to meet a wide variety of missions, and that's exactly what SM-6 offers."
Raytheon said the tests were part of MDA's Sea-Based Terminal program. The modified SM-6 used with Aegis was be known as SM-6 Dual 1 and is on track to achieve initial operating capability next year.