Raytheon to build RIM-174 SM-6 shipboard air-defense missiles in $270.5 million contract

Feb. 29, 2016
WASHINGTON, 29 Feb. 2016. Missile designers at Raytheon Co. will provide the U.S. Navy with shipboard air-defense missiles under terms of a quarter-billion-dollar contract modification announced Friday.
WASHINGTON, 29 Feb. 2016. Missile designers at Raytheon Co. will provide the U.S. Navy with shipboard air-defense missiles under terms of a quarter-billion-dollar contract modification announced Friday.

Officials of the Raytheon Missile Systems segment in Tucson, Ariz., won a $270.5 million contract option to build the Standard Missile-6 (SM-6). The shipboard missiles order brings the value of the total contract to $573.2 million, Navy officials say.

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).

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

Related: Systems Planning receives share of Navy's ramping-up shipboard self-defense radar initiative

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 stage.

Navy crews can use the missile in inertial guided to target with terminal acquisition using active radar seeker; 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 very-high-altitude or 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: CESARS to develop electro-optical shipboard defense to protect ships from missiles, boats, and UAVs

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 contract modification Raytheon will do the work in Camden, Ark.; Tucson, Ariz.; Wolverhampton, England; Andover, Mass.; Middletown, Ohio; San Jose, Calif.; Dallas; Huntsville and Anniston, Ala.; Middletown, Conn.; Clarkston, Ga.; San Diego.; Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Warrington, Pa.; and other locations, and should be finished by April 2019.

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

About the Author

John Keller | Editor

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

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