Sea-based; employed by cruisers (CGN-type ships), destroyers (DDG-type ships) and
Aegis CG-class ships
|Targets||cruise missiles; aircraft; short-range ballistic missiles in the terminal phase|
|Role||Surface-to-air missile; area theater ballistic missile defense; limited capability against surface targets|
The Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) is a fleet-area air defense weapon that provides anti-air warfare and limited anti-surface warfare capability against today’s advanced anti-ship missiles and aircraft. With a range of 90 nautical miles and an altitude of 65,000 feet, the SM-2 is an integral part of layered defense that protects naval assets, giving warfighters greater operational flexibility.
The SM-2 is a solid propellant-fueled, tail-controlled, surface-to-air missile fired by surface ships. Designed to counter high-speed, high-altitude anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs) in an advanced ECM environment, its primary mode of target engagement uses mid-course guidance with radar illumination of the target by the ship for missile homing during the terminal phase. The SM-2 can also be used against surface targets.
The currently deployed SM-2 derived from the SM-1 (RIM-GGB), which is still in the fleet. The SM-2 employs an electronic countermeasures-resistant monopulse receiver for semi-active radar terminal guidance and inertial midcourse guidance capable of receiving midcourse command updates from the shipboard fire control system. The SM-2 is launched from the Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) and the Mk 26 Guided Missile Launching System (GMLS). To counter expanding threat capabilities, the SM-2 continues to evolve and improve in advanced high and low-altitude threat interception. Specifically, the SM-2 is being improved to counter electronic countermeasures (ECM) through modular changes to the missile sections.
The Standard Missile was produced in two major types, the SM-1 MR/SM-2 and the SM-2. The SM-1 MR/SM-2 is a medium range surface-to-air missile (i.e. SM-2 Block II, III, IIIA, and IIIB), while the SM-2 is categorized as extended range (i.e. SM-2 Block IV and IVA), allowing it to provide Area Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD) along with fleet and extended area air defense.
It is one of the most reliable in the Navy’s inventory and provides for the critical lower-tier of the layered missile defense infrastructure. Used against missiles, aircraft, and ships, it first came into the fleet more than a decade ago, replacing the Terrier and Tartar missiles on more than 100 Navy ships. The SM-2 (MR) is a medium-range defense weapon equipped byTiconderoga class Aegis cruisers, Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers, California and Virginia class nuclear cruisers, and Kidd class destroyers with NTU conversions. Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates use the SM-1 MR. Overall, SM-2 Blocks II through IV provide protection against aircraft, anti-ship missiles, and ground targets, expanding the battlespace.
The SM-2 has proven itself as a valuable anti-air and TBMD missile, even demonstrating limited ability to strike surface targets. As a result, many U.S. allies such as Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, and Taiwan have adopted the SM-2.
Starting in 2015, the new Standard Missile-6 (SM-6)—designed to provide fleet air defense against fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and land-attack anti-ship cruise missiles in flight—is scheduled to phase out the SM-2 Block IV missile. The SM-6 employs the Standard Missile airframe and propulsion elements, while incorporating the advanced signal processing and guidance control capabilities of the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM).