US Tests SM-6’s New Missile Defense Capability

In a first-of-its-kind test, the U.S. Navy fired a Raytheon Company Standard Missile-6 from the USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), intercepting and destroying a short-range ballistic missile target at sea.

The successful U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) test proved a modified SM-6 can eliminate threat ballistic missiles in their final seconds of flight.

Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems, said:

SM-6 is the only missile in the world that can do both anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defense from sea.

MDA’s Sea-Based Terminal (SBT) program will protect against ballistic threats in their terminal phase of flight using SM-6 missiles integrated into the Aegis Weapon System. Called SM-6 Dual 1, it is on track to achieve initial operating capability in 2016.

Following SM-6’s interception of a ballistic missile target, three additional test events were conducted. During the series, the U.S. Navy fired two additional SM-6s in anti-air warfare roles. Both missiles successfully engaged cruise missile targets. The U.S. Navy also fired a Standard Missile-2 Block IV that successfully intercepted its target, validating this weapon’s current capability to stop short-range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase of flight.

Image: US Navy

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