April 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy completed a final series of tests for Raytheon's SM-6 missile, also known as the RIM-174 ERAM, certifying it for full operational capability.
"The U.S. Navy began deploying SM-6s four years ago, but we've continued to give it software upgrades and test it in every possible scenario to learn more about what it could do," Mike Campisi, Raytheon's SM-6 senior program director, said in a press release. "We've continued to raise the bar, and the missile has exceeded it every time."
Four missiles were fired at a variety of land-launched targets, including supersonic and subsonic missiles. All four test fires successfully intercepted their targets.
The SM-6 is designed to target aircraft and conventional missiles, surface targets and ballistic missiles in their terminal phase of descent. Depending on the target, it has a range of up to 230 miles and travels at a top speed of up to Mach 3.5. It carries a 140-pound warhead and is guided by semi-active and active radar.
The missile is launched from surface ships using the MK 41 Vertical Launch System deployed on Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. Raytheon says it is only missile in the world that can target air, surface and ballistic missile targets.
In March 2016, it was first used on a surface target, sinking the decommissioned frigate USS Reuben James. The missile has been approved for international sales to select countries as of January.