Raytheon’s Alabama-made missiles make history for U.S. Navy

Membership Spotlight

The U.S.S. John Paul Jones has destroyed cruise missile targets using the Alabama-made Standard Missile-6, making it the longest distance surface-to-air strike in naval history.

Business Council of Alabama member Raytheon, located in Huntsville, has delivered more than 100 of its SM-6 interceptor missiles to the U.S. Navy. The missile’s final assembly takes place at the company’s state-of-the-art SM-6 and SM-3 production facility at Redstone Arsenal.  

The SM-6 is designed to strike targets that ships can’t see on their own. 

According to Raytheon, tests were conducted in June under the Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) mission area in which SM-6 interceptors were pitted against subsonic, low altitude target drones. These tests were to take out cruise missile targets flying beyond the horizon and intercept a supersonic target. While the exact distances of these tests are classified, the destroyer U.S.S John Paul Jones successfully demolished the targets, achieving a double milestone. 

Raytheon’s SM-6 senior program director, Mike Campisi, says this missile is the best that exists. “If you want to defend against cruise missile attacks, the Standard Missile-6 is your weapon of choice,” he said. “The missile’s ability to use networked sensors to engage threats beyond the ship radar’s horizon makes it the most advanced extended range area defense weapon in existence.”

According to Campisi, the SM-6 is the U.S. Navy’s only missile with enhanced anti-air warfare capability. “Combatant commanders want more deployed,” Campisi said. “We continue to exceed our cost reduction targets, allowing the Navy to increase order quantities even in a budget-constrained environment.” 

In June, Raytheon was awarded $275 million to build 93 additional SM-6s.

BCA members and Raytheon suppliers toured the Redstone Arsenal missile production facility last month during an event at Raytheon it sponsored jointly with the BCA’s Manufacturing Advocacy Council.

– Anna Dobbins