Raytheon’s Standard Missile-6 Approved for International Release
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Department of Defense has approved the release of the Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) surface-to-air missile, a Raytheon Missiles official said in a Jan. 10 briefing at the Surface Navy Association’s National Symposium at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.
“Many of the approved countries are seeking the multi-mission SM-6 to bolster their shipbuilding programs,” a Raytheon release of the same date said.
Raytheon is working on engineering change proposals for the U.S. Navy to incorporate the surface-to-surface mode in addition to a sea-based terminal missile defense mode to give the SM-6 a tri-mode capability.
Thadeous Smith, Raytheon’s director of the SM-6 program, presented the customer intentions of three navies interested in adding the SM-6 to their arsenals.
The Royal Australian Navy is building three Hobart-class anti-air warfare destroyers equipped with the Baseline 8 version of the Aegis Combat System. The ships will be armed with the SM-2, the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) and the Phalanx close-in weapon system. The Australian government is looking at adding the SM-6 to the ships’ arsenals in the mid-2020s when they receive a Baseline 9 upgrade to their Aegis systems.
Japan is building its sixth and seventh guided-missile destroyers (DDGs) and they will receive the Baseline 9 Aegis system. These ships potentially will be armed with a mixture of SM-2, SM-3 and SM-6s, plus ESSM and the Phalanx gun. Japan also may upgrade two of its older Kongo-class DDGs with the improvements necessary to employ the SM-6.
The Republic of Korea is building three KDX Batch 2 destroyers with Baseline 9, enabling them to be armed with a mixture of SM-2, SM-3 and SM-6s and the Phalanx gun.