The US Navy’s USS Desert Ship (LLS-1) crew, the surface-to-air weapons testing site, has successfully test fired a Raytheon-built Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) against a medium-range supersonic target from ‘over-the-horizon’.

The mission was part of a test series for the Naval Integrated Fire Control – Counter Air (NIFC-CA) programme. NIFC-CA is designed to connect US Navy ships and airborne sensors into a single network.

For this test firing, the mock warship at White Sands Missile Range used information from other ships and airborne sensors.

Program Executive Office, Integrated Weapon Systems (PEO IWS) 3.0 Surface Ship Weapons major programme manager captain Michael Ladner said: "This flight test is yet another demonstration of SM-6 providing the US Navy with critical defensive capabilities against emerging threats."

The 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.

Raytheon Standard Missile-6 senior programme director Mike Campisi said: "This weapon multiplies the amount of defended space the US Navy can protect.

"The ships can now use data from remote sensors to support the engagement of targets."

"The ships can now use data from remote sensors to support the engagement of targets. Sailors can now launch at threats much sooner than ever before."

Raytheon’s SM-6 missile moved into full-rate production in May this year, paving the way for a significant increase in production and further costs reductions.

The company recently received a $149m contract from the US Navy for 74 SM-6 all-up rounds, spares, containers, and services.

Raytheon has delivered more than 160 SM-6 units since the missile was first deployed in 2013.

Image: The surface-to-air supersonic missile SM-6 can defend against land-attack and anti-ship cruise missiles. Photo: courtesy of Raytheon Company.