SM-6 proves worth in first over-the-horizon test

Aug. 26, 2013 at 3:10 PM
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POINT MAGU SEA RANGE, Calif., Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Raytheon says its Standard-6 interceptor missiles were on target in their first over-the-horizon engagement test against cruise missiles.

The U.S. Navy fired two SM-6s from the USS Chancellorsville and each destroyed the BQM-74 target drones, the company reported.

"The SM-6's ability to engage threats at significantly greater ranges than other missiles in its class is a game changer for the U.S. Navy," said Jim Normoyle, Raytheon Missile Systems' SM-6 program director. "We verified the weapon's new processor earlier this month, and we're preparing for the USS Chancellorsville's Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials in November."

The SM-6 leverages airframe and propulsion system of earlier Standard Missiles, has active and semi-active guidance modes, and uses advanced fuzing techniques. It will be used to provide Navy ships with extended range protection against fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles as part of the Naval Integrated Fire Control - Counter Air mission area.

"SM-6 combines the best of our SM-2, SM-3 and AMRAAM missiles, providing an enhanced anti-air warfare and over-the-horizon capability at a reduced cost," said Mike Campisi, Raytheon Missile Systems' senior director of Standard Missile-1, -2 and -6 programs. "We have delivered more than 50 missiles ahead of schedule and under cost, and we remain on track to reach initial operating capability in 2013."

The missiles are produced by Raytheon's new $75 million, 70,000-square-foot SM-6 and Standard Missile-3 all-up-round production facility at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala.

The U.S. Defense Acquisition Board approved full-rate production of the SM-6 missile last May.

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