US Navy tests SM-6 Block I off Hawaii

Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) launches a Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) during a live-fire test of the ship's aegis weapons system in June 2014. Photo: US Navy

The U.S. Navy said it carried out four flight tests of the surface-to-air Standard Missile-6 Block I (SM-6 Blk I) off the Hawaiian coast between April 6 and 13.

These tests marked the next step toward the SM-6 Blk I’s achievement of full operational capability.

In addition, the navy said these were the first tests with the latest SM-6 Blk I software that includes air warfare, ballistic missile sea based terminal defense, and anti-surface warfare capabilities.

“I’m very proud of my team for the seamless planning and execution of these flight tests, which are the culmination of disciplined systems engineering efforts. These latest flight test successes demonstrate, once again, the versatile capability of SM-6 Blk I,” said Capt. Michael Ladner, major program manager for Surface Ship Weapons, Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS).

The SM-6 provides an over-the-horizon engagement capability when launched from an Aegis warship and uses the latest in hardware and software missile technology to provide needed capabilities against evolving air threats. The SM-6 program has completed development and achieved Initial Operational Capability in November 2013.

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