New SM-6 missile variant to begin at-sea testing

Raytheon's new SM-6 interceptor passed its last land-based test and moves closer to initial production, the company announced on Tuesday.
By Richard Tomkins  |  June 21, 2017 at 3:36 PM
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June 21 (UPI) -- Raytheon's newest SM-6 missile interceptor is closer to low-rate initial production following successful completion of its final land-based test.

The test on the SM-6 Block IA, conducted at a test site in southern New Mexico, involved the interceptor engaging and destroying a sub-sonic target.

Raytheon said the interceptor is now entering at-sea testing and is expected to enter production next year.

"The Block 1A brings a new level of sophistication to the SM-6 and increases the precision of the missile even more," Mike Campisi, Raytheon's SM-6 senior program director, said in a press release. "Relying less on a ship combat system means the missile can continue to engage targets further and further away with extreme accuracy."

The SM-6 Block 1A improves the SM-6 BLK 1 with an enhanced precision guidance section that allows the missile to seek and destroy a wide variety of threats.

Raytheon's SM-6 is capable of anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, and terminal ballistic missile defense. It is manufactured at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala.

Raytheon said about 340 SM-6 missiles have been produced to date.

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