RIM-174 Standard ERAM
The RIM-174 Standard Extended Range Active Missile (ERAM), or Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) is a missile in current production for the United States Navy. It was designed for extended range anti-air warfare (ER-AAW) purposes providing capability against fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and anti-ship cruise missiles in flight, both over sea and land. The missile uses the airframe of the earlier SM-2ER Block IV (RIM-156A) missile, adding the active radar homing seeker from the AIM-120C AMRAAM in place of the semi-active seeker of the previous design. This will improve the capability of the Standard missile against highly agile targets, and targets beyond the effective range of the launching vessels' target illumination radars. Initial operating capability was planned for 2013 and has been successfully achieved on November 27, 2013. The SM-6 is not meant to replace the SM-2 series of missiles, alongside which it will serve, but does give extended range and increased firepower.
The Standard ERAM is a two-stage missile with a booster stage and a second stage. It is similar in appearance to the RIM-156A Standard missile. The radar seeker is an enlarged version adapted from the AIM-120C AMRAAM seeker (13.5 inches versus 7 inches).
The missile may be employed in a number of modes: inertial guided to target with terminal acquisition using active radar seeker, semi-active radar homing all the way, or an over the horizon shot with Cooperative Engagement Capability. The missile is also capable of terminal ballistic missile defense as a supplement to the Standard missile three (RIM-161).
Unlike other missiles of the Standard family, the Standard ERAM can be periodically tested and certified without removal from the VLS cell.
The SM-6 offers extended range over previous SM-2 series missiles, primarily being able to intercept very high altitude or sea-skimming anti-ship missiles; the missile is also slated to perform terminal phase ballistic missile defense. It can discriminate targets using its dual-mode seeker, with the semi-active seeker relying on a ship-based illuminator to highlight the target, and the active seeker having the missile itself send out an electromagnetic signal; the active seeker has the ability to detect a land-based cruise missile amid ground features, even from behind a mountain. The multi-mission SM-6 is engineered with the aerodynamics of an SM-2, the propulsion booster stack of the SM-3, and the front end configuration of the AMRAAM.
Raytheon entered a contract in 2004 to develop this missile for the United States Navy, after the cancellation of the Standard missile two extended range block IVA (RIM-156B). Development started in 2005, followed by testing in 2007. The missile was officially designated RIM-174A in February 2008. Initial low rate production was authorized in 2009.
Raytheon received a $93 million contract to begin production of the RIM-174A in September 2009. The first low-rate production missile was delivered in March 2011. SM-6 was approved for full-rate production in May 2013 and the first full-production missile will be delivered in April 2015.
On October 3, 2013 Raytheon was awarded a contract for "89 Standard Missile-6 Block I all up rounds, spares, containers and services" by the U.S. Navy.
During exercises from 18-20 June 2014, USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) fired four SM-6 missiles. One part of the exercise, designated NIFC-CA AS-02A, resulted in the longest surface-to-air engagement in naval history. The exact range of the intercept was not publically released.
On 14 August 2014, an SM-6 was test fired against a subsonic, low-altitude cruise missile target and successfully intercepted it over land. A key element of the test was to assess its ability to discern a slow-moving target among ground clutter.
On 24 October 2014, Raytheon announced that two SM-6 missiles intercepted anti-ship and cruise missile targets during "engage on remote" scenarios. A low-altitude, short-range supersonic GQM-163A and a low-altitude, medium-range subsonic BQM-74E were shot down by SM-6s fired from a guided-missile cruiser using targeting information provided by a guided-missile destroyer. Advanced warning and cueing from other ships allows the missile's over-the-horizon capability to be more greatly utilized so a single ship is able defend a larger area.
In May 2015, the SM-6 was moved from low-rate to full-rate production, significantly increasing production numbers and further reducing cost.
- Raytheon Missile Systems Standard Missile 6, Accessed February 10, 2011.
- Non-Standard: Navy SM-6 Kills Cruise Missiles Deep Inland - Breakingdefense.com, 19 August 2014
- Navy Missile Hits Subsonic Target Over Land - Defensetech.org, 20 August 2014
- Raytheon RIM-174 ERAM (SM-6), designation-systems.net, November 24, 2009.
- U.S. Navy Awards Raytheon $93 Million Contract for Standard Missile-6 Raytheon Media Center: Press Release, September 9, 2009. Accessed November 8, 2009.
- Raytheon Delivers First Standard Missile-6 to U.S. Navy Raytheon Media Center: Press Release, April 25, 2011. Accessed April 27, 2011.
- "Defense Acquisition Board approves Standard Missile-6 full-rate production". Raytheon Company. 22 May 2013.
- "GAO-13-294SP DEFENSE ACQUISITIONS Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs" (PDF). US Government Accountability Office. March 2013. pp. 123–4. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- US Navy destroyer conducts longest ever surface-air engagement with new SM-6 missiles - Defense-Update.com, 28 June 2014
- SM-6 Goes Long - Strategypage.com, 10 July 2014
- Raytheon SM-6s Intercept Targets in ‘Engage on Remote’ Tests - Navyrecognition.com, 24 October 2014
- Raytheon's SM-6 Surface-to-Air Missile moves from low-rate to full-rate production - Navyrecognition.com, 6 May 2015