Naval Warfare

Anduril to Demonstrate Rocket Motors for US Navy Standard Missile-6 (SM-6)

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Anduril to Demonstrate Rocket Motors for US Navy Standard Missile-6 (SM-6)
Anduril to Demonstrate Rocket Motors for US Navy Standard Missile-6 (SM-6)

Anduril has been awarded a $19 million contract to design, build, and test second stage rocket motors for use in the U.S. Navy’s Standard Missile-6 (SM-6), a highly-versatile missile for defeating air, surface, and hypersonic missile threats that is deployable on 60 surface ships. The Navy plans to acquire hundreds of SM-6 variants in the coming years, making it the foundation of maritime missile defense and deterrence. Through this program, Anduril will demonstrate a high-performance, 21-inch diameter second stage rocket motor for an SM-6 variant for potential use in fleet area air defense against advanced, fast-moving threats. This program marks Anduril’s first public contract with the Department of Defense as a supplier of rocket motor systems. This award was facilitated by Program Executive Office Integrated Weapons System (IWS) 3.0, which designs, produces, fields, and maintains naval surface weapons systems.

Anduril’s recent market entry as a rocket motor supplier brings greater resources and competition to a heavily-consolidated industry. It also expands the industrial supply base and provides increased velocity for development and production of solid rocket motors, which are critical to replenishing U.S. and allied stockpiles of munitions and maintaining credible deterrence. Anduril’s goal is to serve as a new entrant in this space that can deliver more efficiently, effectively, and at massive scale for some of the DoD’s most important programs like the Navy’s SM-6. Anduril is currently supplying sub-20-inch diameter rocket motors to several other DoD programs and customers.

A Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) built by Raytheon, an RTX business, intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target at sea in its final seconds of flight, after being fired from the USS Preble (DDG 88).
A Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) built by Raytheon, an RTX business, intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target at sea in its final seconds of flight, after being fired from the USS Preble (DDG 88). (Photo by RTX)

“As threats from near-peer and non-state adversaries become increasingly advanced and widespread, it is imperative that we expand the supply base for solid rocket motors to meet and deter the threat. We are thrilled to bring our advanced design, manufacturing, and material science approaches to the Navy’s SM-6 program, which remains a cornerstone of maritime deterrence against a range of threats. We look forward to delivering next-generation performance and large-scale producibility through our work on the program, and are proud to bring the resources, competition, and development velocity required to enable the solid rocket motor industry to meet rapidly-evolving threats,” said LTG (ret.) Neil Thurgood, Senior Vice President at Anduril.

Development and testing of these next-generation solid rocket motors will occur at both Anduril’s office in Huntsville, Alabama, and at the Mississippi Solid Rocket Complex in McHenry, Mississippi, where Anduril has been investing significant resources in its workforce and facilities. The 450-acre McHenry facility has been sited for millions of pounds of explosives and is now capable of high-rate energetics production for solid rocket motors of up to 42 inches in diameter. Additionally, Anduril has tripled its rocket motor systems workforce over the past year and is on track for continued growth to support a massive increase in propellant mixing and solid rocket motor production. Anduril will continue to invest in developing critical capabilities such as rocket motor systems for the U.S. Navy and other partners.

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