US Navy awards Raytheon $93m for Standard Missile-6


The US Navy has awarded Raytheon the first of several planned low rate initial production (LRIP) contracts to build RIM-174 Standard Missile-6 systems.

The $93 million contract includes the production of missiles and delivery of spare parts and missile containers. Delivery will begin in early 2011.
“Standard Missile-6 has been on budget and on schedule since the program started in 2004,” said Frank Wyatt, vice president of Raytheon’s Naval Weapon Systems. “LRIP clears the way for delivery to the warfighter of this integral weapon system.”

SM-6 will meet the US and Australian navies` requirement for an extended-range anti-air warfare (AAW) missile. Raytheon says the system will provide a defensive capability against fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and anti-ship cruise missiles.

The missile will serve aboard the US Navy`s AEGIS cruisers and destroyers and aboard the Royal Australian Navy`s next-generation AEGIS destroyers.

On US ships, the SM-6 will replace the older SM-2 and augment the RIM-161 Standard Missile-3 that is optimised for anti-ballistic missile defence but also has a demonstrated capability shooting down low-orbit satellites.

It will also serve alongside the SM-4 land attack variant. (There is no publicly known SM-5.)

“When combined with future integrated fire control, SM-6 will provide the US Navy with an extended battlespace capability against over-the-horizon AAW threats,” said Wyatt. “By taking full advantage of the Standard Missile family’s kinematics, SM-6 provides signal processing and superior guidance and control capabilities.”

SM-6 also allows the use of active and semi-active modes and advanced fuzing techniques.


Pic: SM-6 stanadard missile

The Wikipedia notes the RIM-174 SM-6 is an upgraded version of the current SM-2ER Block IV (RIM-156) 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 radars,” the online encyclopedia says.

The Directory of US Military Rockets and Missiles gives the following data for the SM-6 (performance data based on the RIM-156A SM-2ER:

Length (incl. booster)

6.55 m (21 ft 6 in)

Fin span

1.57 m (61.8 in)


0.34 m (13.5 in); booster: 0.53 m (21 in)


1500 kg (3300 lb)


Mach 3.5


33000 m (110000 ft)


240 km (130 nm)


United Techologies MK 72 solid-fueled rocket booster
Atlantic Research Corp. MK 104 dual-thrust solid-fueled rocket sustainer


MK 125 blast-fragmentation