The US Navy's Raytheon-developed Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) tactical missile has achieved initial operation capability following its successful installation onboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile vessel USS Kidd (DDG 100) in San Diego, California, US.
Designed to provide extended range protection for naval vessels against cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and fixed and rotary wing aircraft, the SM-6 missile entered full rate production while the programme has delivered 50 missiles ahead of schedule and under budget.
Surface Ship Weapons major programme manager captain Mike Ladner the SM-6 missile has achieved initial operational capability on schedule.
"The SM-6, with its ability to extend the battle space, truly improves shipboard air defence capability," Ladner said.
The missile is scheduled to undergo follow-on test and evaluation in 2013 and 2014 aimed to demonstrate the integrated fire control capability in an operationally realistic environment.
In May 2013, Raytheon's SM-6 had received full-rate production approval from the US Defense Acquisition Board.
Capable of offering over-the-horizon air defence capability, the missile features advanced signal processing and guidance control capabilities of the advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM).
Raytheon Standard Missile one, two, and six programmes senior director Mike Campisi said the company delivered the first SM-6 production round to the US Navy in February 2011.
Forming part of a major component in the US Navy's naval integrated fire control-counter air (NIFC-CA), the system uses both active and semi-active guidance modes and advanced fusing techniques to protect against several air threats.