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