Raytheon wins $243 mln U.S. Navy order for SM-6 missiles


WASHINGTON, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Raytheon Co has wona contract worth $243 million to build 89 new Standard Missile-6interceptors for the U.S. Navy, the Pentagon said on Friday.

The U.S. Defense Department said the contract would runthrough March 2016.

Raytheon's new SM-6 missile uses the airframe and propulsionof its legacy Standard Missiles, but adds the advanced signalprocessing and guidance control capabilities of its AdvancedMedium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM).

When used on Navy cruisers and destroyers, the new missileswill give military commanders the ability for the first time tointercept targets that are beyond the line of sight, or beyondthe horizon. The missiles will be part of the Navy's sea-basedmissile defense, providing defensive capability againstballistic missiles in their terminal phase of flight.

Raytheon has delivered more than 50 SM-6 interceptors to theNavy under low-rate production contracts. This marks the firstfull-rate production contract for the new weapon.

Senior Pentagon officials approved full-rate production ofSM-6 missiles at a high-level Defense Acquisition Board meetingin May. The missiles defend against fixed- and rotary-wingaircraft, unmanned planes, and cruise missiles.

Last month, the U.S. Navy fired two SM-6 interceptors fromthe USS Chancellorsville, a guided missile cruiser, successfullydestroying two cruise missile targets in the missile's firstover-the-horizon test scenario at sea.

The program is preparing for ship qualification trials onthe USS Chancellorsville in November, and the weapons system isexpected to be approved for initial operational use by the Navylater this year.

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