US Navy | Air-Launched SM-6 spotted on F/A-18 Super Hornet again
Defence Redefined
Published on 09/06/2024 at 12:44

The Standard Missile 6, also known as the RIM-174 Standard Extended Range Active Missile (ERAM), originally developed as a surface-to-air missile, has been installed once again on a Super Hornet. 

The reasons behind the integration and certification of the SM-6 (initially designed to be used on Navy ships in conjunction with the Aegis Combat System) is the fact that the US Navy seeks to outrange existing air-to-air weapons. According to open sources, at its surface-to-air range, the SM-6 achieves ranges of 240 km. An air-launched variant would dramatically increase that range to defeat more distant targets.

As such, an air-launched SM-6 capability would also bring another high speed, long-range land strike option into the fold of the US Navy’s arsenal.

As reported, this is actually not the first time an SM-6 missile is spotted installed on a Super Hornet. In 2021, an F/A-18F was photographed with the same missile under its wings. 

Similar to then, now the first booster, which contributes to the deployment of the missile from vertical launch cells, was removed from the missile.

Also read: USA – INDIA | The “Hybrid” F-21 Fighter Jet – VIDEO




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