MDA Conducts Most Complex SM-6 Firing Test


Published on 07/25/2021 – Last Updated on 07/25/2021 by OTC

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency, in cooperation with the U.S. Navy, conducted Flight Test Aegis Weapon System 33 (FTM-33) in the broad ocean area northwest of Hawaii, July 24.

The objective of FTM-33 was to intercept a raid of two Short Range Ballistic Missile targets with four Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) Dual II missiles.

Based on initial observations, one target was successfully intercepted. At this time, the agency was not sure if the other target was intercepted.

The Sm-6 Missile Can Perform Anti-Air Warfare, Ballistic Missile Defense And Anti-Surface Warfare Missions. (Photo: Missile Defense Agency)

FTM-33 was the most complex mission executed by MDA (a raid of two test targets and two SM-6 Dual II salvos consisting of four missiles).  It was the third flight test of an Aegis BMD-equipped vessel using the SM-6 Dual II missile.

FTM-33 was initially scheduled for December 2020, but was postponed due to COVID-19-related restrictions on people and equipment transportation.

MDA will continue to assess the system’s performance based on the information gathered during the test.

The firing ship for the test was the USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114).

The SM-6 Dual II missile is designed for use in the terminal phase of a short- to- medium-range ballistic missile trajectory.



Mass 3,300 lb (1,500 kg)
Length 21.5 ft (6.6 m)
Diameter 13.5 in (0.34 m) for Block IA
21 in (0.53 m) for Block IB
Warhead 140 lb (64 kg) blast fragmentation
radar and contact fuze
Engine Two Stage: Solid rocket booster, solid rocket booster/sustainer
Wingspan 61.8 in (1.57 m)
~130 nmi (150 mi; 240 km) (Block IA)
Flight ceiling >110,000 ft (34,000 m)
Maximum speed Mach 3.5 (2,664.2 mph; 4,287.7 km/h; 1.2 km/s)
Inertial guidance, active radar homing and semi active radar homing

MDA’s mission is to develop and deploy a layered Missile Defense System to defend the U.S., its deployed forces, allies, and friends from missile attacks of all ranges in all phases of flight.

Check out Naval Library App to learn more about the specifications of the SM-6 Missiles.

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