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Anduril to Develop Solid Rocket Motor for US Navy’s SM-6 Missile

Anduril Industries has been selected to develop a solid rocket motor for the US Navy’s Standard Missile-6 (SM-6).

Valued at $19 million, the contract requires the American defense firm to demonstrate a high-performance, 21-inch diameter second stage rocket motor at an unspecified date.

The motor should be able to help an SM-6 variant defend against advanced, fast-moving threats.

“As threats from near-peer and non-state adversaries become increasingly advanced and widespread, it is imperative that we expand the supply base for solid rocket motors to meet and deter the threat,” Anduril VP Neil Thurgood said.

Work for the contract will be performed at Anduril’s facilities in Alabama and Mississippi.

Increased Production Capacity

According to the company, the recent agreement is its first public contract with the US Department of Defense as a supplier of rocket motor systems.

It coincides with Anduril’s ongoing efforts to increase its production capacity, first with the tripling of its rocket motor systems workforce over the past year.

The California-based firm’s 450-acre (182 hectares) facility has also been improved to enable high-rate production of solid rocket motors of up to 42 inches in diameter.

“We are thrilled to bring our advanced design, manufacturing, and material science approaches to the US Navy’s SM-6 program, which remains a cornerstone of maritime deterrence against a range of threats,” Thurgood said.

“We look forward to delivering next-generation performance and large-scale producibility through our work on the program.”

About the SM-6

Developed by Raytheon (now RTX), the SM-6 is a multi-mission missile system capable of performing anti-air warfare, ballistic missile defense, and anti-ship strikes.

It is a two-stage weapon, meaning a kill vehicle needs to separate from the booster to engage targets at high precision and speed.

The SM-6 has a listed operational range of 370 kilometers and a speed of 1.03 kilometers (0.6 mile) per second.

“The SM-6 missile is three missiles in one. It’s the only weapon that can perform anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare and ballistic missile defense or sea-based terminal missions,” RTX stated on its website.

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