U.S. Navy, Missile Defence Agency conduct test launch of SM-6 interceptor

The U.S. Navy and the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) have successfully conducted the test launch of a Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) from an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, USS McFaul (DDG-74).

That flight test, designated Standard Missile Controlled Test Vehicle (SM CTV)-03, demonstrated the successful performance of an SM-6 launched from an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense capable destroyer and was conducted as part of the system’s flight certification process.

The SM-6 test was conducted in coordination with the NATO exercise, Formidable Shield 2017 (FS17). The test was not part of the exercise itself but was conducted to leverage the available range assets.

Standard Missile 6 (SM-6)

RIM-174 Standard Extended Range Active Missile (ERAM), or Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) is a missile in current production 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.

The missile uses the airframe of the earlier SM-2ER Block IV (RIM-156A) missile, adding the active radar homing seeker from the AIM-120C AMRAAM in place of the semi-active seeker of the previous design. This will improve the capability of the Standard missile against highly agile targets, and targets beyond the effective range of the launching vessels’ target illumination radars.

The missile is also capable of terminal ballistic missile defense as a supplement to the Standard Missile 3 (RIM-161). Unlike other missiles of the Standard family, the Standard ERAM can be periodically tested and certified without removal from the vertical launching system.

Initial operating capability was planned for 2013 and was achieved on November 27, 2013. The SM-6 is not meant to replace the SM-2 series of missiles, but will serve alongside and provide extended range and increased firepower. It was approved for export in January 2017.

File video of SM-6 Launch:

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