What is Standard Missile 6 (SM-6)?

1 min read
What is Standard Missile 6 (SM-6)? Blog Image


The US SM-6 missiles are hogging the headlines again after photographs of a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet appeared carrying an air-launched variant of the SM-6, or the RIM-174 missile.

About Standard Missile 6 (SM-6):

  • It is a multi-mission missile capable of antiair warfare, terminal ballistic missile defense, and antiship strike roles.
  • It was developed by Raytheon Company, a major U.S. defense contractor, primarily for the United States Navy.
  • The first version of the Standard Missile-6 became operational in December 2014.
  • Features:
    • It is the first missile of its kind, with anti-air, anti-surface, and sea-based terminal defence capabilities.
    • It has a length of 6.6 m and a diameter of 0.5 m. It weighs 1,500 kg and carries a 64 kg blast fragmentation warhead.
    • It is an extended-range active missile(ERAM) that uses the sophisticated signal processing and guidance technologies of the AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile).
    • The interceptor usessemi-active homingand active homing guidance to achieve accurate engagement of the assigned targets.
    • At its surface-to-air published range, the SM-6 achieves ranges of 240 km, with even higher estimated ranges up to 463 km.

Q1: What are Ballistic Missiles?

Ballistic missiles are powered initially by a rocket or series of rockets in stages, but then follow an unpowered trajectory that arches upwards before descending to reach its intended target. Ballistic missiles can carry either nuclear or conventional warheads.

Source: “Three-In-One” SM-6 Missile, A Weapon That Infuriated China To Its Core, Spotted On F/18 Super Hornet