RIM-174 Standard ERAM

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Standard SM-6
USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) launches RIM-174 June 2014.JPG
John Paul Jones launches a RIM-174 in June 2014
Type surface-to-air missile
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 2013-present
Used by In production for the
United States Navy
Royal Australian Navy[1]
Japan Maritime Self Defense Force[2]
Republic of Korea Navy[3]
Production history
Manufacturer Raytheon
Unit cost US$4.54m(FY2014)[4]
US$5.1m(FY2013) (inc R&D)[5]
Produced 2009-present
Number built 180
(1,800 planned)[6]
Weight 3,300 lbs (1500 kg)
Length 21 ft 6 in (6.55 m)
Diameter 21 in (0.53 m) max.
Warhead blast fragmentation warhead
radar and contact fuze

Engine Two Stage: Solid rocket booster, Solid rocket booster/sustainer
Wingspan 61.8 in (1.57 m)
230 miles (370 km)[7]
Flight ceiling > 110,000 ft (33,000 m)
Speed Mach 3.5
Inertial guidance, active radar homing and semi active radar homing
surface ship

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,[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]


The Standard ERAM is a two-stage missile with a booster stage and a second stage. It is similar in appearance to the RIM-156A Standard missile. The radar seeker is an enlarged version adapted from the AIM-120C AMRAAM seeker (13.5 inches versus 7 inches).

The missile may be employed in a number of modes: inertial guided to target with terminal acquisition using active radar seeker, semi-active radar homing all the way, or an over the horizon shot with Cooperative Engagement Capability. The missile is also capable of terminal ballistic missile defense as a supplement to the Standard missile three (RIM-161).

Unlike other missiles of the Standard family, the Standard ERAM can be periodically tested and certified without removal from the VLS cell.

The SM-6 offers extended range over previous SM-2 series missiles, primarily being able to intercept very high altitude or sea-skimming anti-ship missiles; the missile is also capable of performing terminal phase ballistic missile defense. It can discriminate targets using its dual-mode seeker, with the semi-active seeker relying on a ship-based illuminator to highlight the target, and the active seeker having the missile itself send out an electromagnetic signal; the active seeker has the ability to detect a land-based cruise missile amid ground features, even from behind a mountain. The multi-mission SM-6 is engineered with the aerodynamics of an SM-2, the propulsion booster stack of the SM-3, and the front end configuration of the AMRAAM.[11]

The Navy is adding the Global Positioning System (GPS) to the SM-6 so it has the capability to strike stationary land targets if needed, but given its higher cost than other land attack weapons like the BGM-109 Tomahawk it would not likely be used as a primary option.[12]


Raytheon entered a contract in 2004 to develop this missile for the United States Navy, after the cancellation of the Standard missile two extended range block IVA (RIM-156B). Development started in 2005, followed by testing in 2007. The missile was officially designated RIM-174A in February 2008. Initial low rate production was authorized in 2009.[13]

Raytheon received a $93 million contract to begin production of the RIM-174A in September 2009.[14] The first low-rate production missile was delivered in March 2011.[15] SM-6 was approved for full-rate production in May 2013 and the first full-production missile will be delivered in April 2015.[16]

As of 2013 the program is scheduled to build 1200 missiles at a total cost of $6,167.8m, at a flyaway cost of $4.3m.[5]

On October 3, 2013 Raytheon was awarded a contract for "89 Standard Missile-6 Block I all up rounds, spares, containers and services" by the U.S. Navy.[17]

On November 27, 2013 Standard ERAM achieved IOC (Initial Operating Capability) when it was fielded on board USS Kidd (DDG-100).[9]

During exercises from 18-20 June 2014, USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) fired four SM-6 missiles. One part of the exercise, designated NIFC-CA AS-02A, resulted in the longest surface-to-air engagement in naval history.[18] The exact range of the intercept was not publically released.[19]

On 14 August 2014, an SM-6 was test fired against a subsonic, low-altitude cruise missile target and successfully intercepted it over land. A key element of the test was to assess its ability to discern a slow-moving target among ground clutter.[11]

On 24 October 2014, Raytheon announced that two SM-6 missiles intercepted anti-ship and cruise missile targets during "engage on remote" scenarios. A low-altitude, short-range supersonic GQM-163A and a low-altitude, medium-range subsonic BQM-74E were shot down by SM-6s fired from a guided-missile cruiser using targeting information provided by a guided-missile destroyer. Advanced warning and cueing from other ships allows the missile's over-the-horizon capability to be more greatly utilized so a single ship is able defend a larger area.[20]

In May 2015, the SM-6 was moved from low-rate to full-rate production, significantly increasing production numbers and further reducing cost.[21]

On 28 July 2015, the Navy tested the modified SM-6 Dual I version to successfully intercept a ballistic missile target in the terminal phase, the last few seconds before it would impact; the Dual I upgrade adds a more powerful processor that runs more sophisticated targeting software to hit a warhead descending from the upper atmosphere at extreme speed. This adds to the fleet's missile defense capabilities by allowing it to intercept ballistic missiles that could not be hit by SM-3 missiles, which targets missiles in the midcourse phase. The Navy had used the SM-2 Block IV as a terminal missile interceptor, but the SM-6 combines missile defense with traditional cruise missile and aircraft interdiction in the same package. The SM-6 Dual I configuration is planned to enter service in 2016.[6][22][23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Australian Defence White Paper 2009
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ S. Korea to deploy new surface-to-air missiles for Aegis destroyers - Yonhapnews.co.kr, 12 June 2013
  4. ^ "United States Department Of Defense Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request Program Acquisition Cost By Weapon System" (pdf). Office Of The Under Secretary Of Defense (Comptroller)/ Chief Financial Officer. March 2014. p. 64. 
  5. ^ a b "GAO-13-294SP DEFENSE ACQUISITIONS Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs" (PDF). US Government Accountability Office. March 2013. pp. 123–4. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Successful SM-6 Ballistic Missile Defense Test Set To Expand Capability of U.S. Guided Missile Fleet - News.USNI.org, 4 August 2015
  7. ^ http://www.janes.com/article/40550/us-navy-s-sm-6-and-over-the-horizon-fire-control-score-intercepts-at-sea
  8. ^ Raytheon Missile Systems Standard Missile 6, Accessed February 10, 2011.
  9. ^ a b http://www.navsea.navy.mil/NewsView.aspx?nw=NewsWires&id=337
  10. ^ Non-Standard: Navy SM-6 Kills Cruise Missiles Deep Inland - Breakingdefense.com, 19 August 2014
  11. ^ a b Navy Missile Hits Subsonic Target Over Land - Defensetech.org, 20 August 2014
  12. ^ Pit LRASM Against Tomahawk For Anti-Ship Missile: VADM Aucoin - Breakingdefense.com, 5 August 2015
  13. ^ Raytheon RIM-174 ERAM (SM-6), designation-systems.net, November 24, 2009.
  14. ^ U.S. Navy Awards Raytheon $93 Million Contract for Standard Missile-6 Raytheon Media Center: Press Release, September 9, 2009. Accessed November 8, 2009.
  15. ^ Raytheon Delivers First Standard Missile-6 to U.S. Navy Raytheon Media Center: Press Release, April 25, 2011. Accessed April 27, 2011.
  16. ^ "Defense Acquisition Board approves Standard Missile-6 full-rate production". Raytheon Company. 22 May 2013. 
  17. ^ http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Raytheon_awarded_Standard_Missile_6_contract_999.html
  18. ^ US Navy destroyer conducts longest ever surface-air engagement with new SM-6 missiles - Defense-Update.com, 28 June 2014
  19. ^ SM-6 Goes Long - Strategypage.com, 10 July 2014
  20. ^ Raytheon SM-6s Intercept Targets in ‘Engage on Remote’ Tests - Navyrecognition.com, 24 October 2014
  21. ^ Raytheon's SM-6 Surface-to-Air Missile moves from low-rate to full-rate production - Navyrecognition.com, 6 May 2015
  22. ^ U.S. military tests ballistic missile interceptor off Hawaii - Militarytimes.com, 3 August 2015
  23. ^ SM-6 Can Now Kill Both Cruise AND Ballistic Missiles - Breakingdefense.com, 4 August 2015

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