US Navy Eyes New SM-2 Block IIIC, as New Production Run Starts for Blocks IIIA and IIIB
Raytheon’s Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) continues to expand its portfolio in terms of capabilities and customer nations which are using the missile as a fleet-area defense weapon, providing anti-air warfare and limited anti-surface warfare capability against today’s advanced anti-ship missiles and aircraft out to 90 nautical miles and an altitude of 65,000 ft (20km).
The baseline technology is mature and evolving, enabled by more than 2,700 successful firings as this article was submitted.
John McClintock, Raytheon’s Standard Missile 2 Acting Program Director, noted the current SM-2 production run is providing 282 missiles to four international customers. “There are a mix of IIIA and IIIB missiles in this total. First deliveries of this run are scheduled for 2020. The specific delivery schedule is the purview of the US Navy,” the weapon sector expert added.
Raytheon’s industry team members for this run include Aerojet, GD-OTS, Honeywell, Kaman, L3, Raloid and Thales Nederland.
Mr McClintock differentiated between the current Block III A and B missiles in build, noting whereas Block IIIA and IIIB have the same range, altitude and speed capabilities, “the IIIB has an IR seeker which enhances capabilities during homing phase.”
Last December, the US Navy stated its intention for Raytheon to engineer and develop an active seeker to the missile, forming the SM-2 Block IIIC. Mr. McClintock provided on update on Block IIIC, noting, “the US Navy has stated its intent to provide an active seeker capability to SM-2. The US Navy and Raytheon team have already initiated work on this effort. Per usual, it is expected that Raytheon will have industry partners.”
Current SM-2 nations are Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Spain and Taiwan. This July, the US State Department notified the US Congress of a proposed Foreign Military Sale to Denmark of up to 46 Standard Missile, SM-2 Block IIIA All-Up Rounds.