The US Navy (USN) has set out plans for solid-propellent rocket motor prototyping and engineering development for a new extended range version of the Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) missile.
Intended to achieve initial capability in fiscal year 2023 (FY 2023), the SM-6 Block IB variant will introduce a new 21-inch solid rocket sustainer to improve missile range and speed.
The SM-6 missile was originally conceived as the effector for the Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) over-the-horizon anti-air warfare network. In NIFC-CA engagements at long range or over-the-horizon, the SM‐6 active seeker performs independent endgame intercept. Alternatively, within the shipboard radar envelope, SM-6 can be supported by the Aegis fire control system (using shipboard illuminators) to consummate an engagement in semi-active mode.
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