U.S. Navy test fires Raytheon SM-6 missile at sea

By Ryan Maass  |  Dec. 19, 2016 at 2:21 PM
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PACIFIC MISSILE FIRING RANGE, Hawaii, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy fired two Raytheon-built Standard Missile-6 missiles to intercept incoming medium-range ballistic missile targets during a recent flight test.

The Standard Missile-6, or SM-6, is designed to intercept short-range and medium-range attacks at sea, and replaced the SM-2 Block IV missile. Raytheon officials say the test was conducted to demonstrate the weapon's versatility.

"This test showcased the flexibility of SM-6 by providing both anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defense from sea," Raytheon Missile Systems president Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence said in a press release. "Combined with its anti-surface warfare capabilities, the SM-6 will play a significant role in protecting U.S. and Allied forces at sea and ashore."

The test was part of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's Sea-Based Terminal Program, which aims to bolster ballistic missile protection using maritime platforms. The SM-6 missiles used in the test were integrated into the Aegis missile guidance system.

In addition to incoming ballistic missile threats, the SM-6 is also designed to engage rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as surface targets. The Dual I variant used in the test achieved initial operating capability in 2016 following a successful flight test in August 2015.

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