The Navy conducted the second test of Raytheon [RTN] Standard Missile-6 extended range anti-air warfare missile last week, the company reported.

Just as in the first SM-6 test on June 24, the SM-6 with the newly developed active seeker intercepted a BQM-74 aerial drone. The active seeker, employing the Navy’s legacy command system, autonomously acquired and engaged the target, Raytheon said.

"The SM-6 integrates the legacy standard missile airframe and semi-active guidance technology with the power of the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) active seeker," Louis Moncada, Raytheon Missile Systems’ SM-6 program director, said. "Today’s test demonstrated this capability at low altitudes."

The SM-6 provides advanced anti-air warfare and over-the-horizon capabilities against aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles. The over-the-horizon capabilities allow the missile to engage a target beyond the ship’s line of sight.

"The SM-6 program continues to move forward on budget and on schedule," Kirk Johnson, Naval Sea Systems Command Standard Missile program manager, said. "Combining the legacy SM-2 Block IV capability with the AMRAAM’s active seeker is a true accomplishment."

The SM-6 is being developed by the company to meet the requirement for an extended range anti-air warfare missile. The weapon is expected to deploy in 2011 to shield against fixed and rotary wing aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles, while delivering a transformational over-the-horizon counter to the cruise missile threat (Defense Daily, June 26).

SM-6 employs the Standard Missile-2 Block IVA airframe and the newly developed active sensor. The SM-6 also will aid the Navy sea-based terminal ballistic missile defense requirement.