Pentagon: Multi-Billion Investment in Tomahawks and SM-6

Feb 05, 2016 00:20 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff

The Pentagon is to invest in the development of Tomahawk and SM-6 missiles which will be capable of hitting moving vessels. $2 billion has been requested for the purchase of 4,000 Tomahawk missiles with manufacturer Raytheon. Raytheon has invested in a multi-modal seeker that would allow the missiles to hit moving targets so that missiles may be adapted from land missiles into anti-ship missiles. A further $2.9 billion will also be made available for the purchase of 650 SM-6 interceptors as well, to advance them to become anti-ship missiles for the first time. This will allow the SM-6 to operate in an offensive capability instead of operating solely as an anti-ballistic weapon.


Raytheon Standard Missile 6

According to USNI article 

SECDEF Carter Confirms Navy Developing Supersonic Anti-Ship Missile for Cruisers, Destroyers

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter confirmed the Navy was developing a modification to the Raytheon Standard Missile 6 that will give the service a supersonic anti-ship weapon to reach a target more than 200 nautical miles away.

“We are going to create a brand-new capability,” Carter told reporters in San Diego on Wednesday. “We’re modifying the SM-6 so that in addition to missile defense, it can also target enemy ships at sea at very long ranges.”

With a top speed of Mach 3.5, the SM-6 will extend the lethal range of the CRUDES force well beyond the reach of the current Boeing RGM-84 Harpoon anti-surface missile – first introduced in the late 1970s.

The modified SM-6 – part of a $2.9 billion missile buy over the next five years — will be the largest new anti-ship capability in decades onboard the service’s fleet of guided missiles and cruisers and indicative of the Navy’s push to load its ships with more offensive firepower – codified in the “distributed lethality” philosophy pushed forward by service surface leaders in 2015.

As the Navy orients the cruiser and destroyer force to take on higher end adversaries — like China and Russia — the emphasis will be how to maximize the use of the difficult-to-reload vertical launch system cells of the CRUDES force.

“The big difference we can talk about is that it adds a GPS capability,” Raytheon said.

The SM-6 is designed to take out aircraft and cruise missile — and in limited scenarios ballistic missiles — which requires a smaller warhead class than the 500-pound class warhead found on the current Harpoons. It’s unclear if the missile will need warhead modifications.

Another lingering question is if the anti-surface mode of the SM-6 will be a networked weapon like the anti-air warfare mode in the Naval Integrated Fire Control Counter-Air (NIFC-CA) concept.

NIFC-CA can combine the targeting data from a Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and send targeting information to a SM-6 to intercept an air target beyond the range of the cruiser or destroyer firing the weapon.

“Does that mean an E-2 can guide a SM-6 to a bunch of swarming surface craft at long distances?” asked Wertheim.

Read full article: HERE

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. Source


SM-6 is a key component in the U.S. Navy’s Naval Integrated Fire Control – Counter Air (NIFC-CA), providing the surface Navy with an increased battlespace against over-the-horizon anti-air warfare threats.

The system’s operational modes include semi-active homing and active homing to provide highly accurate target engagement.

Vertically launched from a MK 41 VLS canister, SM-6 is compatible with existing AEGIS cruisers and destroyers and future cruisers and destroyers. Source


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