US Navy conducts four flight tests of SM-6 Block I missile
The US Navy has successfully conducted four flight tests of the surface-to-air Standard Missile-6 Block I (SM-6 Blk I) off the Hawaiian coast.
The tests, termed as Alpha, Bravo, Delta, and Golf consecutively, constitute a part of SM-6 Blk I follow-on operational test and evaluation (FOT&E) and were aimed to evaluate the performance of the missiles.
Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) major programme manager for surface ship weapons programme executive officer Captain Michael Ladner said: "These flight tests, once again, demonstrate the versatility and capability that the SM-6 provides for our Navy's fleet defence.
"These tests mark the longest downrange and cross-range engagements of the SM-6 to date."
Along with the Alpha and Bravo tests, flight test Delta had successfully terminated two targets with simultaneous engagements, and flight test Golf successfully intercepted a target with electronic counter-measures.
The US Navy's next-generation extended-range anti-air warfare (AAW) interceptor missile is the sixth variant of the SM family.
When launched from an Aegis warship, the SM-6 provides an over-the-horizon engagement capability, and uses the latest in hardware and software missile technology to provide needed capabilities against evolving air threats.
The SM-6 programme achieved the initial operational capability in November 2013.
It is currently subjected to the FOT&E phase, with full operational capability expected during the first quarter of 2018.
The US navy conducted another flight test, termed Juliet, of SM-6 variant of missile in August 2014.
Image: The US Navy Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones fired an SM-6 missile variant. Photo: courtesy of US Navy.