The US Navy has successfully carried out the final of three land tests for the surface-to-air Standard Missile-6 Block IA (SM-6 Blk IA) at the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico.
The test has demonstrated the enhanced capabilities of SM-6 Blk IA and its integration with the Aegis weapon system, and the navy plans to conduct the at-sea testing of the SM-6 Blk IA missile in the third quarter of 2017.
Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) Surface Ship Weapons major programme manager captain John Keegan said: “This final land test is a critical milestone which demonstrates Blk IA's improved capability.
“I am very proud of the entire test team for their extensive planning and technical rigour that went into the execution of this event.”
The missile system has been developed by Raytheon and offers an over-the-horizon engagement capability when launched from an Aegis-equipped warship.
It deploys the newest and advanced hardware and software missile technology in order to provide the required capabilities against evolving air threats. Initial operational capability for SM-6 Blk IA is planned for the end of next year.
The US navy successfully conducted four flight tests of the SM-6 Blk I off the Hawaiian coast in February 2016.
The tests were termed Alpha, Bravo, Delta, and Golf consecutively, and formed part of SM-6 Blk I follow-on operational test and evaluation (FOT&E). They were designed to assess the overall performance of the missile systems.