Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Tucson, Arizona, was awarded a $231,687,410 modification to a previously awarded contract to procure Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) production requirements including all up rounds, instrumentation kits, engineering services and to definitize the long-lead-material undefinitized contract action in support of the governments of South Korea, Denmark, Taiwan, Netherlands, Spain, Chile, Japan, and Germany. Work is expected to be complete by December 2026. The U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. Raytheon Missiles & Defense reconfigured and modernized its SM-2 missile factory to increase production efficiencies. It also signed new agreements with several suppliers.
The Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) family was developed to provide air and cruise missile defense as part of the Aegis Combat System on U.S. Navy ships. The RIM-66C/D Standard MR (SM-2MR Block I) was developed in the 1970s and was a key part of the Aegis combat system and New Threat Upgrade (NTU). Originally developed to replace the Standard Missile-1 surface-to-air missile, the Standard Missile series emphasized modularity in design to make upgrading the missiles easier as technology developed. The SM-1 and SM-2 were continuously upgraded through Block. The SM-2 Blocks II, III, and IV each uses semi-active radar homing and have a blast-fragment warhead with a radar and contact fuse. The SM2 also has an extended air defense capability and it has a secondary anti-surface ship mission.
The family of SM-2 interceptors is all solid-fueled and tail controlled, designed to launch from either a Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) or Mk 26 Guided Missile Launching System (GMLS). Most versions of the SM-2 are designed to engage high-speed, high-altitude anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM) with midcourse guidance and radar support from the ship’s systems to help illuminate the target during the terminal intercept phase. The missile’s autopilot is programmed to fly the most efficient path to the target and can receive course corrections from the ground. Target illumination for semi-active homing is needed only for a few seconds in the terminal phase of the interception.
The SM-2 has conducted more than 2,700 successful live firings. They are now most commonly launched from the Mk 41 VLS, which is a modular design concept with different versions that vary in size and weight. There are three lengths for this VLS: 209 in (530 cm) for the self-defense version, 266 in (680 cm) for the tactical version, and 303 in (770 cm) for the strike version. In June 2017, Raytheon announced it was restarting the SM-2 production line to fulfill purchases made by the Netherlands, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. Production had stopped in 2013 from a lack of international orders. New deliveries of SM-2 Block IIIA and IIIB missiles are scheduled to begin in 2020. The United States Navy is committed to keeping the Standard Missile 2 medium-range viable until 2035.