US Navy links Stan­dard Mis­sile-6 with F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in First-of-a-kind Flight Test

India Strategic - - INDUSTRY -

WHITE SANDS MIS­SILE RANGE, N.M. In a first-of-it­skind en­gage­ment, a Raytheon Com­pany Stan­dard Mis­sile- 6 linked with an F- 35 fighter de­stroyed a medium- range, medium-al­ti­tude, sub­sonic tar­get. The USS Desert Ship (LLS 1), a land- based US Navy Com­bat Sys­tem equipped with the lat­est AEGIS Base­line, fired the SM-6, which in­ter­cepted the over-the-hori­zon tar­get, out of sight of its op­er­a­tors.

The mis­sion was the lat­est in a test se­ries for Naval In­te­grated Fire Con­trol – Counter Air, or NIFC-CA, a pro­gramme de­signed to link US Navy ships and var­i­ous air­borne sen­sors, such as the F-35, into a sin­gle in­te­grated sen­sor network. Dur­ing this ca­pa­bil­ity demon­stra­tion, the SM-6 re­ceived con­tin­u­ous up­dates from the network, in­clud­ing the fighter air­craft, lead­ing to the suc­cess­ful in­ter­cept of the tar­get. SM- 6 pro­vides US Navy ves­sels with ex­tended- range pro­tec­tion against fixed- and ro­tary- wing air­craft, un­manned aerial ve­hi­cles, cruise mis­siles and bal­lis­tic mis­siles in the ter­mi­nal phase of flight, and an of­fen­sive ca­pa­bil­ity against sur­face tar­gets.

Raytheon has cur­rently de­liv­ered more than 300 SM-6 mis­siles with con­tin­u­ing pro­duc­tion.

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