US Navy successfully tests surface-to-air standard missile-6


The US Navy has successfully conducted a flight test of the new surface-to-air standard missile-6 (SM-6) at White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, US.

The Juliet flight test is the first of ten follow-on operational test and evaluation (FOT&E) events scheduled for SM-6's missile performance and demonstration.

Juliet was aimed at assessing the missile's potential to capture a subsonic, low-altitude target over land.

"This event demonstrated SM-6's ability to detect and engage a slow moving target in the presence of complex land clutter."

Johns Hopkins University applied physics lab anti-air warfare missiles technical director Jim Schuh said: "This event demonstrated SM-6's ability to detect and engage a slow moving target in the presence of complex land clutter.

"It is another victory for this very versatile weapon."

The missile is Raytheon Missiles Systems' sixth version of the standard missile family and is being developed for the navy to offer an over-the-horizon engagement ability when fired from an Aegis warship.

Furthermore, the missile's hardware and software missile technology will offer required capabilities against emerging threats.

Programme executive office integrated warfare systems 3.0 programme manager captain Michael Ladner said: "This is an important achievement for naval warfare.

"SM-6 is undoubtedly the most advanced anti-air missile the navy has ever produced and delivered to our sailors."

In June 2013, the US Navy awarded a $275m contract modification to Raytheon covering SM-6's all-up round production and spare parts.

The SM-6 programme has been under development for seven years and achieved initial operational capability in November 2013. It is now going through FOT&E, which is likely to finish during the second quarter of 2016.

Defence Technology