Raytheon has delivered an additional Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) all-up-round to the US Navy, marking the first production from its new integration and testing facility in Huntsville, Alabama, US.
Raytheon Missile Systems president Dr Taylor W Lawrence said that the transformational fleet defence missile SM-6 is expected to reach initial operating capabilities in 2013.
"Our state-of-the-art production facility in Huntsville will play a significant role in delivering this asset to the US Navy on time and on budget for years to come," Lawrence added.
Designed for deployment on cruisers and destroyers, the extended range active missile (ERAM) provides air defence capabilities against fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and land-attack anti-ship cruise missiles in flight, both over sea and land.
In September 2012, SM-6 underwent trials and demonstrated its capacity to destroy a cruise missile target using a remote cue from Raytheon's JLENS, marking a significant milestone in the programme.
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).
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.
Raytheon's new production facility at Redstone Arsenal was launched in November 2012 and features advanced tools and the latest processes for missile production, while reducing costs.
The company delivered the first SM-6 production round to the US Navy in April 2011.
Image: SM-6 is a combination of SM-2 Block IV capability with the AMRAAM's active seeker. Photo: courtesy of US Navy.