Military


RIM-174 SM-6 Extended Range Active Missile (ERAM)

The Aegis/SM-2 is limited in handling saturation air attacks by the radar's horizon - low flying aircraft and cruise missiles could approach within dozens of miles of an AEGIS vessel before the SM-2 could conduct an intercept. With the SM-6, an AEGIS ship can target aircraft upwards of 200 miles away, before they can launch their Anti-Shipping Missiles. The RIM-174 SM-6 Extended Range Active Missile (ERAM) provides a transformational enabler to the US Navy to revolutionize Naval Warfare. Combining an AMRAAM active seeker onto the proven STANDARD Missile airframe - both of which were also produced by Raytheon - SM-6 provides an extended range anti-air warfare capability both over sea and overland.

In response to the evolving threat and an expanding mission, Raytheon and the US Navy developed the next generation of Extended Range Anti-air Warfare Missile. Having active radar in the missile allows engagements at very-long ranges, beyond the ship's horizon by using networked fire control data such as that provided by the Navy's Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC). This weapon will take advantage of the proven capabilities of the Standard Missile airframe and semi-active guidance technology, merged with the advanced seeker technology of Raytheon's AMRAAM Air-to-Air missile. The combination of these two technologies will provide the Navy with the ability to engage challenging targets, at extended ranges, well into the future.

SM-6 is capable of providing over-the-horizon air defense and takes full advantage of the kinematics available to the Standard Missile family, allowing the use of both active and semi-active modes and advanced fuzing techniques. The missile is designed to help ships protect themselves against various aircraft, including unmanned aerial vehicles and anti-ship missiles. Employing the Standard Missile-2 Block IVA airframe and the newly developed active sensor, Standard Missile 6 also has an inherent capability to fulfill the Navy's sea-based terminal ballistic missile defense requirement, though the ERAM procurement decision did not address the Navy's need for a TBM system.

The ERAM replaces the Block IV in the Navy's AAW role. The Block IV was never bought in large quantities because it was to be replaced by the Block IVA, a dual-mission AAW and Theater Ballistic Missile (TBM) interceptor. The Block IVA was cancelled in December 2001 along with the rest of the Navy Area Defense program.

The termination of the STANDARD Missile-2 (SM-2) Block IVA program due to cost, schedule, and performance problems prompted the Navy to modify the next in its series of planned standard missile programs. An early program manager for SM-6 and other key staff had been involved in the previous STANDARD Missile program (SM-2 Block IVA) that had been terminated. They were therefore very clear on what the potential problems were and were highly motivated to try to avoid them if possible. In addition, as of 2010 the program manager of SM-6 had been in the STANDARD Missile program office since the mid-1980s and had worked in the program in various capacities before becoming program manager. The SM-6 program manager said being on a first-name basis with the contractor vice-presidents helps him to manage the program effectively. SM-6 program officials also stated that the contractor program manager met weekly with staff to ensure the best possible talent is working on his program.

Initially, the Navy proposed the STANDARD Missile-5 (SM-5) program, which was intended to develop sophisticated targeting capabilities. However, strong support from senior acquisition leaders allowed program officials to advocate for a more achievable and affordable "80 percent solution" which resulted in the SM-6 program. According to an early SM-6 program manager, the urgent need for a successful program helped set the stage for conducting thorough and detailed planning work prior to Milestone B. In addition, the program received strong support from the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition in obtaining full funding for a realistic, risk-based cost estimate.

The SM-6 program effectively estimated costs - according to an early program manager, the program insisted on including all related costs in its estimate, including field activity costs and the program's share of department-wide overhead and expenses. The program also allocated risk across the whole program, building in margin for each step. Because the program made a point to develop doable requirements, it had the prerequisite knowledge about technologies and design to make an accurate estimate and establish a realistic funding profile. According to an early program manager, to realistically estimate schedule the program conducted a comparative study of major missile development programs. From this study they concluded that all of these programs have taken between 9 and 12 years to get from Milestone B to initial capability. They used these historical numbers as the basis for the SM-6 schedule estimate.

A former SM-6 official said the program specifically included an assumption of two flight failures during testing - each entailing 2 to 3 months' time to address-explaining that no program realistically goes through all of its tests without a failure. In addition, this official stated that, instead of trying to eliminate risk by simply adding on a single schedule "cushion" at the end of the development cycle, they allocated schedule risk margin more strategically. First, the program identified the specific tasks that were sources of the greatest schedule risk and then they added a margin to the scheduled time allocated for each task. This decreased the chance that contractor personnel would be brought on board (and paid) to work on any specific task prematurely, which in turn helped to decrease the cost consequences of schedule delays. In contrast, others who began with overly optimistic cost and funding assumptions have required much more funding per year than first requested.

Officials from the SM-6 program discussed proactively anticipating and responding to funding cuts. Program officials tracked what kind of funding cuts they could handle and what the effects might be. Program officials stated that when there was a request to take funding from the program, they always took the opportunity to respond and justify why the program cannot spare the money. Often that justification was accepted.

The SM-6 Program has generally been on schedule and within cost estimates since its inception. This low-risk approach relying on Non-Developmental Items was initially intended to support an FY 2010 IOC. After surveying the market to determine sources for existing and potential new technologies to aid in the development of an extended range anti-air missile with active seeker capability, NAVSEA awarded a sole-source development contract to Raytheon Missile Systems. This next generation Standard Missile would satisfy both the extended range and active seeker requirements. Raytheon was the sole producer of surface-to-air Missiles for the US Navy, including the Standard Missile 2 Block IIIB (a medium-range missile) and Block IV (an extended-range missile). Raytheon is the only source that could provide this new ship-launched anti-air warfare (AAW) missile by FY10.

Funding for the initial procurement of the SM-6 ERAM was appropriated in fiscal year 2009. The contract award for the first SM-6 ERAM procurement was expected to occur in January 2009, but has slipped to at least September 2009 and will likely slip into fiscal year 2010. The initial procurement of SM-6 ERAM will execute as a fiscal year 2010 contract award and allow the fiscal year 2010 funding to be directed towards higher priority items.

The House reduced the SM-6 request by $117.63 million based on concern that the SM-6 contract award will likely slip into FY2010. The Department opposed the House reduction because it eliminates production of SM-6 in FY 2010 thereby impacting procurement costs, causing a production delay/break during the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) phase and further delaying the Navy's ability to meet Fleet requirements for an extended range air defense weapon by eighteen months to two years. Milestone C authority was granted on 29 July by the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB). A not-to-exceed (NTE) letter contract update was agreed upon by Raytheon Missile Systems (RMS), with a planned contract award in mid-August 2009. Obligation of funding for the FY 2010 contract option is planned for March 2010. The acquisition strategy prescribes negotiating LRIP Lot 1 in FY 2009 with priced options for LRIP Lots 2 and 3 to be funded in FY 2010 and FY2011, respectively, ensuring SM-6 was on track to begin delivery of production rounds in 2QFY 2011.

Without FY 2010 funding, completion of LRIP will be delayed 10-13 months, delaying a Full Rate Production decision by at least a year, resulting in a breach of the Acquisition Program Baseline (APB) for schedule. Program strategy for SM-6 included using LRIP rounds to support developmental/operational testing and simultaneous fleet load-out to pace the evolving threat. If the 26 missiles were not procured in FY 2010, SM-6 introduction in the fleet will be delayed from 2013 until approximately 2014-2015.

Since SM-6, SM-2 and AMRAAM share assembly lines, a gap in production will cause requalification of the production line and unplanned support labor costs. In addition to increasing program costs, this will result in further program delays as the Cost Certification review being conducted in support of the Weapons Reform Acquisition Act of 2009 will be delayed to take these cost impacts into account. This could result in a Nunn-McCurdy cost breach of the Acquisition Program Baseline. The Department urges support of the President's budget request and restoration of full funding to the SM-6 System Development and Demonstration program to preserve the Navy's ability to meet Fleet requirements against a growing threat.

SM-6 conducted multiple, successful test firings completed in 2008 proving the performance of the system. On June 24, 2008 the U.S. Navy successfully conducted the first test of the Standard Missile 6 extended range anti-air warfare missile produced by Raytheon Company. The missile, launched from the Navy's Desert Ship at the White Sands Missile Range, successfully intercepted a BQM-74 aerial drone using the newly developed SM-6 active seeker. The active seeker autonomously acquired and engaged the target using the Navy's legacy command system, resulting in a direct hit. This launch demonstrates the first successful integration of the Navy's active missile technology into the weapon system to provide for both near-term advanced anti-air warfare and future over-the-horizon capability.

Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Port Hueneme White Sands Detachment conducted a successful flight test of the Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) for system development and demonstration from the Desert Ship testing facility 11 January 2010 at White Sands Missile Range, NM. The GTV-3 mission follows the October 2009 formal certification for the Desert Ship's upgrade, which included enhancements to engineering capabilities and computer programs supporting the mission. Certification was granted after a stringent data review before a Navy certification panel, which verified that system performance met the over-arching requirements for the Desert Ship upgrade and the new configuration for supporting flight testing of the Standard Missile-2 and the Standard Missile-6 variants.

On 01 July 2010 Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $65,264,580 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024 09 C-5305) for low-rate initial production of the fiscal 2010 Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) Block I all-up-rounds, instrumentation kits, design agent services, spares and containers. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz. (50 percent); Camden, Ark. (23 percent); Boston, Mass. (5 percent); Dallas, Texas (4 percent); Hanahan, S.C. (3 percent); Anniston, Ala. (2 percent); San Jose, Calif. (2 percent); and other locations (11 percent). Work is expected to be completed by December 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

On 07 July 2010 Raytheon Company received a $368 million, three-year, contract from the U.S. Navy to manufacture Standard Missile-6 ("SM-6") systems. The contract includes the production of missiles, spare parts, and system and design engineering efforts, to meet the requirements of the U.S. Navy. SM-6 is undergoing development testing and will go for operational testing in fiscal year 2011, with initial operational start-up by March 2011. The company planned to begin the delivery of the extended-range, anti-aircraft missiles in early 2011.

The Extended Range Active Missile (ERAM), designated SM-6, will add an extended range, overland cruise missile defense capability. The Navy's recommended strategy, based on a market analysis, is to pursue a sole-source acquisition through Raytheon Missile Systems. This approach will utilize the existing production active seeker from AMRAAM Phase III, utilize the existing production airframe from the Standard Missile-2 Block IV, leverage multi-service investments in future technology growth path, and leverage existing production infrastructures and workforces.

A robust extended range (ER) anti-air missile with engage-on-remote capability is key to providing flexible firepower throughout the battle space using a variety of targeting platforms. The Extended Range Active Missile (ERAM) uses an SM-2 Block IV propulsion stack with an active Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) seeker to provide enhanced capabilities. ERAM is an active missile that can use the full kinematic capability of the missile to greatly expand the battlespace. ERAM will leverage the significant investment made by the Defense Department in the AMRAAM seeker. ERAM is the evolution of the Extended Range Standard Missile airframe and propulsion stack into an active seeker TAMD interceptor with the ability to engage on remote tracks not held on the firing ship's radar or covered by the firing ship's fire control illuminators.

The new missile was initially referred to as the Extended-Range Active Missile, or ERAM. The name comes from the fact that it incorporates the active-radar seeker of an AMRAAM air-to-air missile, into the extended-range airframe of the Standard Missile Block IV. This approach leverages both the Navy's previous investment in the Standard Missile line, and the Joint Air Force-Navy investment in AMRAAM radar technology. The fact that both ERAM and AMRAAM will use the same hardware and software for the seeker, is expected to also result in lowered production cost for the missile.

The ERAM will be fired by the AEGIS Combat System, like previous versions of Standard Missile, but is also expected to be compatible with the next-generation DD(X) Fire Control System. The ERAM addresses the Navy's need for a long-range interceptor against aircraft and cruise missiles, which dates back to the 1980's. The AMRAAM seeker gives the missile much improved capability against modern day threats.



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list