A ship-defense missile made by Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems hit its mark in a recent test of a system that links ships and airborne sensors together to hit long-range targets.
A crew at the U.S. Navy's USS Desert Ship — a mock warship at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. — fired a Standard Missile-6 at a medium-range supersonic target, “successfully engaging the simulated 'over-the-horizon' threat,” the company said Wednesday. The date of the test was not immeditately available.
The test was the latest in a series for the Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air program, which is designed to link U.S. Navy ships and airborne sensors into a single network to guide the missile to its target, Raytheon said.
The weapon system “multiplies the amount of defended space the Navy can protect” and allows sailors to launch at threats much sooner than ever before, Mike Campisi, Raytheon's Standard Missile-6 senior program director, said in a news release.
Also known as the RIM-174 Standard Extended Range Active Missile, the SM-6 is designed to provide extended-range protection against fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles, at a range of up to 230 miles.
Raytheon has delivered more than 180 missiles to the Navy, which deployed the SM-6 for the first time in December 2013. The Navy plans to buy some 1,800 SM-6s through 2024, with an overall program cost of more than $8 billion, according to Pentagon budget documents.
In May 2015, Raytheon delivered the first full-rate production SM-6 from its production facility at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. Section-level assembly and testing takes place at Raytheon in Tucson.