Raytheon’s Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) has been moved into full-rate production paving the way for a significant increase in production and further costs reductions.
The US Defense Acquisition Board had granted full-rate production approval for the missile in May 2013.
The surface-to-air supersonic missile can be used for protection against manned and unmanned aerial vehicles and fixed and rotary-wing aircraft. It is also capable of defending against land-attack and anti-ship cruise missiles in flight.
The missile also features advanced signal processing and guidance control capabilities of the advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) and uses both active and semi-active guidance modes and advanced fusing techniques.
The standard missile will help the navy provide an over-the-horizon engagement ability when fired from an Aegis warship.
SM-6 senior programme director Mike Campisi said: "SM-6 is proven against a broad range of advanced threats, which makes it very valuable to combatant commanders who need and want that flexibility.
"Full-rate production allows us to significantly ramp up production and deliver to the US Navy the quantities it needs to further increase operational effectiveness."
Raytheon delivered the first full-rate production round to the US Navy from its SM-6 and SM-3 all-up-round production facility at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.
The company tested and assembled a majority of the SM-6’s section level at its subsystem centre factory in Tucson, Arizona, US.
More than 180 missiles have been delivered by Raytheon to the US navy which deployed SM-6 for the first time in December 2013.
Image: The SM-6 features advanced signal processing and guidance control capabilities of the advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM). Photo: courtesy of US Navy.