Standard Missile 6 (SM-6)

Standard Missile 6 (SM-6)


The SM-6 missiles, developed by Raytheon Company, have gained recent attention due to the release of images depicting a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet carrying an air-launched variant—the RIM-174 missile.

Multi-Mission Missile:

  1. Capabilities:
    1. Anti-air warfare
    2. Terminal ballistic missile defense
    3. Anti-ship strike roles
  2. Features:
  1. Unique Missile: The SM-6 is the first of its kind, combining anti-air, anti-surface, and sea-based terminal defense capabilities.
  2. Dimensions and Weight: It has a length of 6.6 meters and a diameter of 0.5 meters, weighing approximately 1,500 kg.
  3. Warhead: The SM-6 carries a 64 kg blast fragmentation warhead.
  4. Extended Range: It is an extended-range active missile (ERAM) utilizing advanced signal processing and guidance technologies from the AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile).
  5. Guidance System: To achieve accurate target engagement, the SM-6 uses semi-active homing and active homing guidance.
  6. Range: It achieves a published range of 240 km in surface-to-air mode, with estimated ranges extending up to 463 km.

What are Ballistic Missiles?

  1. Ballistic missiles are rocket-propelled, self-guided weapon systems that can carry conventional or nuclear munitions.
  2. They are launched directly into the upper layers of the Earth's atmosphere and can travel outside the atmosphere, where the warhead separates from the missile and falls toward a predetermined target.
  3. Ballistic missiles can be launched from aircraft, ships, submarines, and land.

What is a Cruise Missile?

  1. A cruise missile is a self-propelled, unmanned guided vehicle that uses aerodynamic lift to sustain flight for most of its path.
  2. Its main purpose is to deliver a payload to a target with high precision over long distances.
  3. Cruise missiles can be launched from many ground, air, sea, and submarine platforms.
  4. They fly at low altitudes and stay within the Earth's atmosphere throughout their trajectory.
  • Most cruise missiles are subsonic and use turbofan and turbojet engines.
  • Supersonic and hypersonic cruise missiles use ramjet and scramjet engines.
  • Hypersonic missiles are weapons systems that fly at least at the speed of Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound.

Some of the best cruise missiles in service with various nations include:

  1. Tomahawk: Known for its long-range capabilities, accuracy, and versatility
  2. BrahMos: A joint venture between India and Russia, this is the fastest cruise missile in world in operation

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