Sophisticated Multi-Mission Warfare
The SM-6® missile delivers a proven over-the-horizon defensive and offensive capability by leveraging the time-tested advantages of the legacy Standard Missile airframe and propulsion. It’s the only missile in the world that can perform both anti-air warfare and terminal ballistic missile defense from sea, and it recently added anti-surface warfare to its repertoire.
Deployed on cruisers and destroyers in the U.S. Navy, the SM-6 missile provides Joint Force and Strike Force Commanders fleet air defense against all types of aircraft – manned and unmanned; land-attack anti-ship cruise missiles in flight; ballistic missiles in their terminal, or final, stage of flight over land or sea; and targets on the ocean’s surface. The missile is subsequently considered a triple threat, providing anti-air warfare, sea-based terminal ballistic missile defense and anti-surface warfare. The SM-6 missile is the most affordable missile per defended area and threat set and continues to perform beyond expectations and its original intended mission. It’s now one missile with three missions.
Vertically launched from a MK 41 VLS canister, the SM-6 missile is compatible with existing AEGIS cruisers and destroyers and future cruisers and destroyers. The system’s operational modes include semi-active homing and active homing to provide highly accurate target engagement, and it incorporates the advanced signal processing and guidance control capabilities of the AMRAAM® air-to-air missile.
SM-6 Missile Multi-mission Test
The U.S. Navy fired a SM-6 “Dual-1” missile in July 2015 for the first time, intercepting and destroying a short-range ballistic missile target at sea in its final seconds of flight. The “Dual 1” is part of the Missile Defense Agency’s Sea-Based Terminal program and is slated for additional testing. It succeeded the SM-2 Block IV missile.
The SM-6 missile is also a key component in the U.S. Navy's Naval Integrated Fire Control – Counter Air, providing the surface Navy with an increased battlespace against over-the-horizon, anti-air warfare threats.
In early 2016, the SM-6 missile engaged its first-ever surface target, the decommissioned guided missile frigate USS Reuben James. The test demonstrated the missile’s capability in anti-surface warfare and illustrated how it directly supports the U.S. Navy’s distributed lethality concept to increase the offensive might of the surface force.
First deployed in 2013, Raytheon has delivered more than 250 missiles to date, with many years of production on the horizon as the SM-6 missile continues to evolve to meet warfighter needs. Final assembly of the missile takes place at Raytheon’s state-of-the-art production facility at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.
Learn more about Raytheon's Missile Defense Solutions.
SM-6 Missile Sea-based Test