Raytheon’s SM-6 goes international with Australia, Korea and Japan as likely buyers

An SM-6 missile is launched from USS John Paul Jones during a test. Photo: US Navy

The U.S. Department of Defense has cleared Raytheon’s Standard Missile-6 for sale to several international customers, the company announced January 10.

“Many of the approved countries are seeking the multi-mission SM-6 to bolster their shipbuilding programs,” the company said without specifying which countries were meant.

The SM-6 missile is compatible with the Aegis combat system which is in use by five nations other than the US.

Among the five nations are Australia, which is currently constructing its Hobart-class destroyers that will be capable of fielding the SM-6, and South Korea and Japan.

Back in August 2016, it was announced that South Korea’s three new KDX-III (Korean Destroyer eXperimental), also named Sejong the Great-class, destroyers would be equipped with the Aegis Baseline 9 system.

Similarly, Japan’s next two Atago-class destroyers will also be receiving the new Aegis ship set.

SM-6 currently provides U.S. Navy vessels with over-the-horizon, air defense protection against fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles in the terminal phase of flight.

Earlier in 2016, the missile was also successfully tested as an offensive effector against targets on the ocean’s surface.

“International navies are seeking the level of sophisticated protection that SM-6 provides,” said Mike Campisi, Standard Missile-6 senior program director. “The flexibility of this multi-mission effector drives significant savings for our partners and allies; it’s the exact opposite of a boutique missile.”

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Sea-Air-Space 2018

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