Raytheon: Standard Missile 6 breaks engagement range record

American defence contractor Raytheon on March 7 announced its Standard Missile-6, “successfully engaged five targets and shattered its previous maximum engagement range record”.

The previous such record was set in June of 2014.

According to the company, this test series, supported by the Cooperative Engagement Capability, validated the tactical warfighting capability of SM-6, by demonstrating both maximum down range and a maximum cross range intercepts in over-the-horizon, engage-on-remote missions.

U.S. Navy’s Arleigh-Burke class destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), configured with Aegis Baseline 9.C1, executed the series of four missions with five SM-6 missiles for ‘follow-on operational test and evaluation’, which is part of the final testing leading to a likely declaration of Full Operational Capability in 2017.

The USS Gridley (DDG 101) was on station to perform as the Aegis assist ship for the engage-on-remote missions. The tests also proved the ability of SM-6 to conduct complex, multiple target scenarios.

Dr. Taylor Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president, siad: “These tests demonstrate the full warfighting potential of SM-6 and its proven multi-mission value. The versatility of SM-6 makes it deployable on 60 surface combatants in the fleet, providing additional layers of capability and protection.”

SM-6 is a key component of the U.S. Navy’s Naval Integrated Fire Control – Counter Air mission, providing U.S. Navy sailors and their vessels extended range protection against fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise and ballistic missiles.

The SM-6 deployed for the first time in 2013, and Raytheon has so far delivered more than 250 missiles.

Earlier in 2016, Raytheon was awarded further $270.5 million by the U.S. Navy for the production and spares requirements of the Standard Missile-6.