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Raytheon will undertake the development of two types of Standard Missiles that will have improved targeting capabilities

Raytheon has been granted a $344 million contract by the U.S. Navy to develop two variants of the Standard Missile. These variants will have a shared guidance section, which will enhance the targeting capability of both the American and foreign naval fleets.

The enhanced SM-2 Block IIICU and SM-6 Block IU missiles will possess augmented targeting capabilities, enabling the defensive standard missiles to effectively detect and intercept a wider range of potential threats.

The different versions will have a common guidance section, a target-detection device, and additional software and electronics. Raytheon will be able to produce both of them on the same assembly line in Arizona due to their shared characteristics.

Raytheon has ceased production of its SM-2 missile after fulfilling all orders for fiscal year 2017 from both American and foreign customers. The decision was made due to a decline in demand for the missile, as stated by the company to Defense News. The production line resumed operations with an order for FY21, as there was a renewed demand for the missile overseas.

The upcoming set of orders will consist of the latest SM-2 IIICU variant, which will mark the debut of an active radar in the medium-range missile.

The demand signal has been increasing steadily. The legacy SM-2 has proven to be a crucial safeguard for our allied navies. “Looking ahead, the ability to provide an improved capability is of great importance to us,” stated Misty Holmes, Raytheon’s vice president of naval shipboard missiles, in an interview with Defense NAcco

According to the company’s press release, the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales program is primarily responsible for funding the development program.ram. Additionally, it mentioned that the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, and South Korea would be the initial recipients of the patents. It also mentioned that the United States was the main driving force behind the development of the new variant but refrained from going into detail about the funding arrangement. States. The Navy aims to proactively address the demand from its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) partners.

According to Holmes, equipping the missile with an active radar represents a significant advancement in technology. This enhancement will greatly enhance the fleet’s capacity to engage a greater number of targets. The active radar will provide the missile with the ability to detect and track additional incoming threats.

The company stated that the new variant of the SM-6 Block IU resolves issues related to the obsolescence of components in the electronics unit.

This contract pertains to the creation of the shared subcomponents. A forthcoming contract, anticipated later this year, will provide funding for the missile qualification and at-sea testing of the SM-2 Block IIICU.

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