U.S. Navy SM-6 missile successfully intercepts MRBM target

U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) successfully fired two Raytheon-built Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) Dual I missiles against a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) target from the Aegis Combat System.

During the test, the system detected, tracked, engaged and launched both missiles to intercept a Medium Range Ballistic Missile target. The test was supported by the U.S. Navy, Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Lockheed Martin.

This exercise marked the seventh successful intercept test of the Aegis Baseline 9.1 (BMD 5.0CU) Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) tracking and engagement capabilities and the third successful SM-6 BMD intercept test using Baseline 9.1.

“The recent ballistic missile defense test off the coast of Hawaii demonstrates that Aegis can successfully execute complicated missions against a medium-range ballistic missile target,” said Paul Klammer, director, Aegis BMD, for Lockheed Martin. “This latest test continues to demonstrate the cutting-edge capabilities and reliability of the Aegis Baseline 9 system.”

“Earlier this year, our customer requested an enhanced capability to deal with a sophisticated medium-range ballistic missile threat,” said Mike Campisi, Raytheon’s SM-6 senior program director. “We did all this – the analysis, coding and testing – in seven months; a process that normally takes one to two years.”

The test, called Flight Test Standard Missile– 27 Event 2 (FTM-27 E2), demonstrated the integrated capabilities of the Aegis Weapon System and how it has continually evolved to counter advanced threats.

This was the third time that the SM-6 missile successfully engaged a ballistic missile target in its terminal phase. It was first tested in a successful flight test mission in August 2015, and then again in late 2016.

SM-6 Interceptor Launch from USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53), Credit: MDA

About SM-6:

RIM-174 Standard Extended Range Active Missile (ERAM), or Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) is a missile manufactured by Raytheon for the United States Navy.

It was designed for extended range anti-air warfare (ER-AAW) purposes providing capability against fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and anti-ship cruise missiles in flight, both over sea and land. It can also be used as a high-speed anti-ship missile (AShM).

Deployed on U.S. Navy ships, SM-6 delivers a proven over-the-horizon offensive and defensive capability by leveraging the time-tested Standard Missile airframe and propulsion system.

It’s the only missile that supports anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare and sea-based terminal ballistic missile defense in one solution—and it’s enabling the U.S. and its allies to cost-effectively increase the offensive might of surface forces. Raytheon has delivered more than 330 SM-6 missiles with continuing production.

The U.S. Department of Defense has approved the sale of SM-6 to several allied nations.


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