<summary>Update SM-6 Blk IB (weapon_3772) as hypersonic SSM, more range. Delete MRC SPY-1D radar </summary>
The missile should be primarily an SSM (ASuW) missile and not a SAM. It may retain SAM or ABM capabilities but it does not seem to be its primary purpose (especially for the US Army in its MRC).
The missile has been designated as hypersonic (currently in the DB it is not).
With the new booster it is likely to have much longer range as SSM although it is not known but it should be well above the range of the PrSM missile (500 km).
The SM-6 selection surprised me at first, because its reported ranges are well short of the 1,000 miles the Army wants for the Mid-Range Capability. While the real range is classified, estimates range up to 290 miles (250 nautical miles).
However, the Navy is now developing an extended-range model of the SM-6, the Block 1B. (It’ll use the rocket booster from another Standard Missile variant, the ICBM-killing SM-3, which is known to have a range greater than 1,000 miles). What’s more, while the current SM-6 maxes out at Mach 3.5, the SM-6 Block 1B will reportedly reach hypersonic speeds, i.e. above Mach 5. While the Navy plans for Block 1B to complete development only in 2024, it wouldn’t be a stretch to have a handful of missiles available early for the Army’s MRC roll-out in late 2023.
The Mid-Range Capability will slot in between the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM), a 500-plus-km (310+ mile) replacement for the aging ATACMS, and the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW), whose classified range is in the thousands of kilometers.
Also new warhead
The description, however, aligns with the known elements of the SM-6 Block 1B development program. In budget documents submitted last year for fiscal 2020, the Navy described a plan to field the SM-6 Block 1B by fiscal 2024 with a wider, 21-in.-dia. booster to increase the range and speed of the standard, Mach 3.5-class missile, but the documents did not say by how much. The fiscal 2020 budget documents also mention plans to add a new thermal protection system and update the guidance, navigation and control system for the SM-6 Block 1B.
Guerts’ testimony on March 10 is not the first to link the SM-6 Block 1B to the antisurface-warfare role. A presentation by the Navy at the Surface Warfare Association’s annual conference in January 2019 listed the SM-6 Block 1B on a chart as one of several antisurface-warfare weapons. But Guerts’ testimony adds a potentially important detail. He referenced a new “warhead design” for the new hypersonic weapon, addressing a flaw of the baseline version of the SM-6 for an anti-surface application. The warhead on the baseline SM-6 weighs only 140 lb., a mass the Congressional Budget Office cited as inadequate against a modern combat ship.
< Message edited by 14yellow14 -- 4/26/2021 11:27:13 AM >