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Defence

RTX to modernise electronics unit for missile development

RTX's Raytheon business has been awarded a $344 million contract for the development of two missile variants – the SM-2 Block IIICU and SM-6 Block IU – which will be based on a common guidance section, where the electronics and software that guide a missile to its target are housed.

Above: The SM-2 missile is primarily used by US and allied navies for fleet air defence and ship defence.
Courtesy RTX

The updated variants will share a newly designed guidance section, target detection device, independent flight termination system and electronics unit. This commonality will allow Raytheon to manufacture both missiles on a common production line, providing flexibility, scalability and cost reductions.

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"Upgrades under this contract will allow us to increase speed and efficiency in production of these weapon systems that are integral to the defence of the US Navy and our allies," said Kim Ernzen, president of Naval Power, Raytheon. "It's also a very important step forward for our international customers, as this will be the first time that Standard Missile active radar technology will be fielded by the US' international allies."

The development programme is largely funded by Foreign Military Sales. The first users of these updated missiles will be the US, Australia, Canada, Japan and Korea.

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Work on this contract is being conducted in Tucson, Arizona. While the common sub-sections will be developed for both missile configurations under this award, there is a follow-on contract expected later this year which will complete the missile level qualification events as well as At-Sea flight tests specific to the SM-2 Block IIICU configuration.

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