Raytheon to build RIM-174 air-defense missiles to protect shipboard forces from planes and missiles

WASHINGTON – Missile designers at Raytheon Co. will provide the U.S. Navy with shipboard air-defense missiles under terms of an order announced Friday potentially worth more than a half-billion dollars.

Raytheon to build RIM-174 air-defense missiles to protect shipboard forces from planes and missiles
Raytheon to build RIM-174 air-defense missiles to protect shipboard forces from planes and missiles
WASHINGTON – Missile designers at Raytheon Co. will provide the U.S. Navy with shipboard air-defense missiles under terms of an order announced Friday potentially worth more than a half-billion dollars.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington announced a $395.5 million order to the Raytheon Missile Systems segment in Tucson, Ariz., to build additional Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) systems. The order has options that could increase its value to $579.7 million.

The SM-6, also called the RIM-174 Standard Extended Range Active Missile (ERAM), is deployed on Navy cruisers and destroyers to provide air defense against enemy fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), land-attack anti-ship cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles in their terminal phases over sea and land, Raytheon officials say.

The SM-6 uses the legacy Standard Missile airframe and engine, and adds the advanced signal processing and guidance control capabilities of the Raytheon AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM).

Related: Navy asks Raytheon to produce Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Block 2 for shipboard missile defense

The SM-6 is a key component in the U.S. Navy's Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA), which helps provide Navy shipboard forces with over-the-horizon air-defense capabilities. It also can destroy nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles in their terminal phases.

The missile features semi-active and active homing, and launches from the MK 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) canister aboard ship. The SM-6 is a two-stage missile with a booster stage and a second flight stage.

Navy crews inertial guidance to target the missile, and then use the missile's active radar seeker to guide the missile to its target. Other options are using semi-active radar homing all the way; or an over-the-horizon shot with Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), which blends radar from several different ships.

The SM-6 can intercept targets like incoming ballistic missiles at very-high-altitudes, or in low-altitude mode against low fliers like sea-skimming anti-ship missiles. Against ballistic missiles it can discriminate targets using its dual-mode seeker, with the semi-active seeker relying on a ship-based illuminator to highlight the target, and the active seeker having the missile itself send out an electromagnetic signal.

Related: Raytheon moves forward in developing new missile-defense shipboard radar for Burke destroyer

The missile's active seeker can detect a land-based cruise missile amid ground clutter, even from behind a mountain. The Navy is adding the Global Positioning System (GPS) to the SM-6 so it can strike stationary land targets if needed. The missile also is being modified as an anti-ship weapon.

On this order Raytheon will do the work in Camden, Ark.; Tucson, Ariz.; Wolverhampton, England; Andover, Mass.; Middletown, Ohio; San Diego, San Jose, and Anaheim, Calif.; Dallas; Huntsville and Anniston, Ala.; Middletown, Conn.; Clarkston, Ga.; Amesbury, Mass.; Minneapolis; Orangeburg, N.Y.; and Warrington, Pa., and should be finished by September 2022.

For more information contact Raytheon Missile Systems online at www.raytheon.com, or Naval Sea Systems Command at www.navsea.navy.mil.

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