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A Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) built by RTX business Raytheon has intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target at sea in its final seconds of flight, verifying some of the missile’s enhanced capabilities when launched from a Baseline 9.C2 variant of the Aegis Combat System, RTX announced on 29 March 2024.

This latest flight test, designated as Flight Test Aegis Weapon System (FTM)-32, involved a SM-6 Dual II (Block IA) configuration missile that was launched from the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Preble off the coast of the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, on 28 March. The missile featured newly qualified software that significantly enhances the its capabilities.

“This test demonstrated that the latest versions of the SM-6 and combat system provide the critical capability to destroy an incoming sophisticated missile threat,” Kim Ernzen, president of Raytheon Naval Power, was quoted as saying in an RTX press release. “Raytheon is committed to ensuring our technology stays ahead of evolving threats and is available to sailors as quickly as possible,” Ernzen added.

FTM-32 was the seventh flight test of the SM-6 against ballistic missile targets and the fourth test using the Dual II (Block IA) configuration.

Deployed on US Navy ships, SM-6 delivers a proven over-the-horizon offensive and defensive capability by leveraging the time-tested Standard Missile airframe and propulsion system. It is the only missile that supports anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare and sea-based terminal ballistic missile defence in one solution, enabling the United States and its allies to cost-effectively increase the offensive power of their surface forces.

The US Department of Defense has approved the sale of the SM-6 to several allied nations.

An SM-6 Dual II missile with Software Upgrade (SWUP) is launched from USS Preble off the coast of the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, on 28 March 2024 during Flight Test Aegis Weapon System-32. During the test the US Missile Defense Agency, in co-operation with the US Navy, successfully intercepted an advanced medium-range ballistic missile target. (Photo: US MDA)