US Missile Defense Agency tests modified Standard Missile-6

3 August 2015 (Last Updated August 3rd, 2015 18:30)

The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has tested a Raytheon-built modified Standard Missile-6, demonstrating its anti-ballistic missile defence capability.

SM-6 being launched

The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has tested a Raytheon-built modified Standard Missile-6, demonstrating its anti-ballistic missile defence capability.

During the testing, the missile fired by the US Navy intercepted and destroyed a short-range ballistic missile target at sea.

Raytheon Missile Systems president Dr Taylor Lawrence said: "SM-6 is the only missile in the world that can do both anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defence from sea.

"US Navy commanders want both capability and flexibility to meet a wide variety of missions, and that's exactly what SM-6 offers."

In addition to this test, MDA performed three additional tests that witnessed the US Navy firing two additional SM-6s in anti-air warfare roles. The missiles engaged cruise missile targets.

The third test included the firing of a standard missile-2 Block IV that successfully intercepted the target and proved its capacity to block short-range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase of flight.

MDA's sea-based terminal (SBT) programme is aimed at preventing ballistic threats in their terminal phase of flight using SM-6 missiles integrated into the Aegis Weapon System.

The modified system, known as SM-6 Dual 1, is expected to achieve initial operating capability in 2016.

SM-2 offers increased intercept range, high and low-intercept capabilities, and performance against advanced and anti-ship missile threats. It can be launched from the MK-41, MK-13 and MK-26 launchers.

"US Navy commanders want both capability and flexibility to meet a wide variety of missions, and that's exactly what SM-6 offers."

Moreover, SM-6 offers navy vessels with enhanced protection against fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles as part of the NIFC-CA mission area.

In June, the US Navy test fired a Raytheon-built Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) against a medium-range supersonic target from 'over-the-horizon.'


Image: A file photo showing the launch of a SM-6 during a live-fire test of the Aegis weapons system in the Pacific Ocean. Photo: courtesy of US Navy.