Raytheon’s Standard Missile Naval Defense Family (SM-1 to SM-6)
December 18/18: New variant incoming Raytheon is being contracted to kick-off development of a new Standard Missile variant. Awarded by the Naval Sea Systems Command, the $149 million contract provides for engineering, manufacturing and development of the SM-2 Block IIIC variant. This new variant will fill the gap between the Navy’s new advanced – but quite expensive – long-range SM-6 missile, and the short-range ESSM. The Block IIIC upgrade substitutes the SM-2’s the legacy semi-active radar homing system for the SM-6 active seeker while leaving intact the other aspects of the SM-2 airframe, making it a medium-range missile. The upgrade allows the Navy to use the SM-2 in offensive strikes against enemy aircraft and surface ships. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s facilities in Tucson, Arizona; Wolverhampton, England; East Aurora, New York; Middletown, Ohio and Englewood, Colorado. The Navy plans to field the new missile from October 2022 onwards.
Variants of the SM-2 Standard missile are the USA’s primary fleet defense anti-air weapon, and serve with 13 navies worldwide. The most common variant is the RIM-66K-L/ SM-2 Standard Block IIIB, which entered service in 1998. The Standard family extends far beyond the SM-2 missile, however; several nations still use the SM-1, the SM-3 is rising to international prominence as a missile defense weapon, and the SM-6 program is on track to supplement the SM-2. These missiles are designed to be paired with the AEGIS radar and combat system, but can be employed independently by ships with older or newer radar systems.
This article covers each variant in the Standard missile family, plus several years worth of American and Foreign Military Sales requests and contracts and key events; and offers the budgetary, technical, and geopolitical background that can help put all that in context.
The Standard Missile Naval Defense Family: Missiles and Plans
SM-1: Allied Legacy
SM-2: The Mainstay
SM-3: Ballistic Missile Killer
SM-6 ERAM: Next-Generation Air Defense
The Standard Missile Naval Defense Family: Programs
SM-3 Programs: 2006-2020 Timeline
The Standard Missile Naval Defense Family: US Contracts & Events
FY 2016 – 2018
FY 2014 – 2015
FY 2006 and Earlier
The Standard Missile Naval Defense Family: Exports & Related Key Events
2012 – 2014
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