WASHINGTON, Sept 27 Raytheon Co has won
a contract worth $243 million to build 89 new Standard Missile-6
interceptors for the U.S. Navy, the Pentagon said on Friday.
The U.S. Defense Department said the contract would run
through March 2016.
Raytheon's new SM-6 missile uses the airframe and propulsion
of its legacy Standard Missiles, but adds the advanced signal
processing and guidance control capabilities of its Advanced
Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM).
When used on Navy cruisers and destroyers, the new missiles
will give military commanders the ability for the first time to
intercept targets that are beyond the line of sight, or beyond
the horizon. The missiles will be part of the Navy's sea-based
missile defense, providing defensive capability against
ballistic missiles in their terminal phase of flight.
Raytheon has delivered more than 50 SM-6 interceptors to the
Navy under low-rate production contracts. This marks the first
full-rate production contract for the new weapon.
Senior Pentagon officials approved full-rate production of
SM-6 missiles at a high-level Defense Acquisition Board meeting
in May. The missiles defend against fixed- and rotary-wing
aircraft, unmanned planes, and cruise missiles.
Last month, the U.S. Navy fired two SM-6 interceptors from
the USS Chancellorsville, a guided missile cruiser, successfully
destroying two cruise missile targets in the missile's first
over-the-horizon test scenario at sea.
The program is preparing for ship qualification trials on
the USS Chancellorsville in November, and the weapons system is
expected to be approved for initial operational use by the Navy
later this year.