The U.S. Navy’s Standard Missile 6 Is Coming to the U.S. Army – The National Interest

The Army will soon fire the Navy’s ship-launched Standard Missile 6 from the ground as part of a new Mid-Range Capability weapons program designed to bring new dimensions to land attack. 

In a manner aligned with the Pentagon’s Cross-Domain warfare strategy, the Army will not only draw upon Navy software, hardware and weapons technology but also leverage Navy contract vehicles to bring the new land-fired prototype to life by 2023. 

“Adapting existing systems as much as possible will allow us to move faster than traditional acquisition methods to get the capability into the hands of soldiers,” Lt. Gen. Neil Thurgood, Director of Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition, said in an Army statement. 

The SM-6, a long-standing crucial element of the Navy’s surface ship layered defenses, brings a unique ability to pinpoint targets within a specific range envelope, complementing the Army’s high-priority Long-Range Precision Fires program. With ranges able to reach as far as 300 nautical miles, an SM-6 fills a key attack gap between the emerging Precision Strike Missile and longer-range weapons such as new, now-in-development hypersonic. 

“The MRC will complement other critical systems in the Army’s long range fires portfolio, providing a combined operational and strategic capability that can attack specific threat vulnerabilities in order to penetrate, disintegrate and exploit targets in deep maneuver areas critical to the joint fight,” an Army statement from Redstone Arsenal said. 

While Navy SM-3 already arms land-based Pentagon Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense systems, SM-6 would bring yet another attack or even defensive