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RIM-66 Standard MR
Standard Missile.jpg
A RIM-66 Standard MR on a Mk-26 launcher
Type Medium-range surface-to-air missile
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 1967 (RIM-66A SM-1MR Block I)
1979 (RIM-66C SM-2MR)[1]
Used by United States Navy, Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, Royal Australian Navy, Turkish Navy, Royal Netherlands Navy, German Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, Chilean Navy and Others
Production history
Manufacturer Raytheon and others
Produced 1967 Onwards
Number built Over 5,000[2]
Weight SM-2 – 1,558 lb (707 kg)
Length 15 ft 6 in (4.72 m)
Diameter 13.5 in (340 mm)

Warhead blast fragmentation warhead
radar and contact fuze

Engine dual thrust, solid-fuel rocket
Wingspan 3 ft 6 in (1.07 m)
40 to 90 nmi (74 to 167 km)
Flight ceiling > 24,400 m (80,100 ft)
Speed Mach 3.5
SM-2MR Block IIIA Command and Inertial midcourse guidance with monopulse semi-active radar homing in the terminal phase of the interception. SM-2MR Block IIIB missiles have dual infrared homing/semi-active terminal homing. SM-1MR Block VI missiles have monopulse semi-active radar homing without command and inertial mid-course guidance.[3]
Surface Ship

The RIM-66 Standard MR (SM-1MR/SM-2MR) is a medium-range surface-to-air missile (SAM), with a secondary role as anti-ship missile, originally developed for the United States Navy (USN). A member of the Standard Missile family of weapons, the SM-1 was developed as a replacement for the RIM-2 Terrier and RIM-24 Tartar that were deployed in the 1950s on a variety of USN ships. The RIM-67 Standard (SM-1ER/SM-2ER) is an extended range version of this missile with a solid rocket booster stage.


The Standard missile program was started in 1963 to produce a family of missiles to replace existing guided missiles used by the Terrier, Talos, and Tartar guided missile launch systems. The intention was to produce a new generation of guided missiles that could be retrofit to existing guided missile systems.[4]

Standard Missile 1Edit

The RIM-66A is the medium ranged version of the Standard missile and was initially developed as a replacement for the earlier RIM-24C as part of the Mk74 "Tartar" Guided Missile Fire Control System. It used the same fuselage as the earlier Tartar missile, for easier use with existing launchers and magazines for that system. The RIM-66A/B while looking like the earlier RIM-24C on the exterior is a different missile internally with redesigned electronics and a more reliable homing system and fuse that make it more capable than its predecessor. The RIM-66A/B Standard MR, (SM-1MR Block I to V) was used during the Vietnam War. The only remaining version of the Standard missile 1 in service is the RIM-66E (SM-1MR Block VI). While no longer in service with the USN, the RIM-66E is still in service with many navies globally and is expected to remain in service until 2020.

Standard Missile 2Edit

The RIM-66C/D Standard MR (SM-2MR Block I) was developed in the 1970s and was a key part of the Aegis combat system and New Threat Upgrade (NTU). The SM-2MR introduced inertial and command mid-course guidance. The missile's autopilot is programmed to fly the most efficient path to the target and can receive course corrections from the ground. Target illumination for semi-active homing is needed only for a few seconds in the terminal phase of the interception. This capability enables the Aegis combat system and New Threat Upgrade equipped vessels to time share illumination radars, greatly increasing the number of targets that can be engaged in quick succession. Mk 41 VLS adopts modular design concept, which result in different versions that vary in size and weight. There are three lengths: 209 in (530 cm) for the self-defense version, 266 in (680 cm) for the tactical version, and 303 in (770 cm) for the strike version. The empty weight for an 8-cell module is 26,800 lb (12,200 kg) for the self-defense version, 29,800 lb (13,500 kg) for the tactical version, and 32,000 lb (15,000 kg) for the strike version.

US Navy 090923-N-1251W-010 The guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) launches a Standard Missile-2 while conducting torpedo evasion maneuvers during Multi-Sail 2009

US Navy 090923-N-1251W-010 The guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) launches a Standard Missile-2 while conducting torpedo evasion maneuvers during Multi-Sail 2009

In the middle 1980s, the SM-2MR was deployed via Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) aboard USS Bunker Hill, the first U.S. Navy ship to deploy a vertical launcher. VLS has, since 2003, been the only launcher used for the Standard missile in the U.S. Navy aboard Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

The SM-1 and SM-2 were continuously upgraded through Blocks.

The Standard can also be used against ships, either at line-of-sight range using its semi-active homing mode, or over the horizon using inertial guidance and terminal infrared homing.[5]

The SM-2 has conducted more than 2,700 successful live firings. In June 2017, Raytheon announced it was restarting the SM-2 production line to fulfill purchases made by the Netherlands, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. Production had stopped in 2013 from lack of international orders. New deliveries of SM-2 Block IIIA and IIIB missiles are scheduled to begin in 2020.[2] The United States Navy is committed to keeping the Standard Missile 2 medium-range viable until 2035.[6]


Standard missiles were constructed by General Dynamics Pomona Division until 1992, when it became part of the Hughes Missile Systems Company. Hughes formed a joint venture with Raytheon called Standard Missile Company (SMCo). Hughes Missile Systems was eventually sold to Raytheon making it the sole contractor.[7]

Operational historyEdit

The Standard missile one became operational in 1968. The missile was utilized by ships equipped with the Tartar Guided Missile Fire Control System. The missile saw its first combat use in the early 1970s in the Vietnam war.

The Standard Missile Two became operational in the late 1970s and was deployed operationally with the Aegis Combat System in 1983. Both Standard one and two were used against both surface and air targets during Operation Praying Mantis. On July 3, 1988, USS Vincennes mistakenly shot down Iran Air Flight 655, an Airbus A300B2, using two SM-2MR missiles from her forward launcher.[8] In 1988 the Iranian Kaman-class missile boat Joshan was disabled by RIM-66 Standard missiles during Operation Praying Mantis.[9]

On October 9, 2016 the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Mason fired two SM-2 (RIM-66 variant) Standard missiles, as well as an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, at incoming Houthi anti-ship missiles off the coast of Yemen. It is unknown if the SM-2 Standards were responsible for intercepting the cruise missiles.[10]

Deployment historyEdit

The Standard missile is designated by blocks depending upon their technological package.

SM-1 Medium Range Block I/II/III/IV, RIM-66AEdit

The First Standard missiles entered service in the USN in 1967. Blocks I, II, and III were preliminary versions. Block IV was the production version. This missile was a replacement for the earlier RIM-24C Tartar missile.

SM-1 Medium Range Block V, RIM-66BEdit

The RIM-66B introduced changes that resulted in higher reliability. A new faster reacting autopilot, a more powerful dual thrust rocket motor, and a new warhead were added. Many RIM-66A missiles were re-manufactured into RIM-66B.

SM-1 Medium Range Blocks VI/VIA/VIB, RIM-66EEdit

The RIM-66E was the last version of the standard missile one medium-range. This version entered service in 1983[4] with the United States Navy and export customers. The RIM-66E was used by all remaining Tartar vessels that were not modified to use the New Threat Upgrade and Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates which controlled it with the Mk92 fire control system. Production of this missile ended in 1987. The missile was retired from USN service in 2003; however there are a large number of this model in service abroad and it is expected to remain viable until 2020.[11]

SM-2 Medium Range Block I, RIM-66C/DEdit

The RIM-66C was the first version of the Standard missile two. The missile became operational in 1978 with the Aegis combat system fitted to the Ticonderoga-class cruiser. The RIM-66D was the SM-2 medium-range block I version for the New Threat Upgrade. The SM-2 incorporates a new autopilot giving it inertial guidance in all phases of flight except for the terminal intercept where semi-active radar homing is still used. This version is no longer in service; remaining missiles have either been remanufactured into later models or have been put in storage.

SM-2 Medium Range Block II, RIM-66G/H/JEdit

The Block II missile was introduced in 1983 with a new rocket motor for longer range and a new warhead. The RIM-66G is for the Aegis combat system and the Mk26 missile launcher. The RIM-66H is for Aegis and the Mk41 vertical launcher. The RIM-66J is the version for the New Threat Upgrade. Block II missiles are no longer manufactured, and have been withdrawn from service. The remainder have either been put in storage, scrapped for spare parts, or remanufactured into later models.

SM-2 Medium Range Block III/IIIA/IIIB, RIM-66K/L/MEdit

The RIM-66M is the version of the Standard missile two medium-range (SM-2MR) currently in service with the USN aboard Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. The missile is specifically designed for the Aegis Combat System and the Mk41 Vertical launch system. The Block III missiles differ from earlier blocks by the addition of the MK 45 MOD 9 target detecting device, for improved performance against low altitude targets. The Block IIIB missile additionally has a dual semi-active/infrared seeker for terminal homing. The dual seeker is intended for use in high-ECM environments, against targets over the horizon or with a small radar cross section.[11] The seeker was originally developed for the canceled AIM-7R Sparrow air-to-air missile. All USN Block III and IIIA missiles are to be upgraded to Block IIIB. Block IIIA missiles are operated by the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force on its Kongō-class and Atago-class Aegis destroyers. Aegis equipped vessels in the Spanish and South Korean navies use it as well. The Dutch and German Navies have added it to the Anti-Air Warfare system, which uses the Thales Group Active Phased Array Radar S-1850M and Smart-L radar. South Korean KDX-II destroyers use the block IIIA with a New Threat Upgrade compatible guided missile fire control system. Block III variants for Aegis and arm launchers are designated RIM-66L. Block III missiles for New Threat Upgrade systems are designated RIM-66K. Block IIIB missiles were not produced for the New Threat Upgrade. Blocks IIIA and IIIB are the current production versions. The Thales Nederland STIR 1.8 and 2.4 fire control systems are also supported.[3]

SM-2 Medium Range Block IIIC ActiveEdit

The Naval Sea Systems Command has announced its intentions to develop an active terminal homing version of the SM-2 MR missile. This will incorporate the active homing seeker of the SM-6 ERAM into the existing SM-2 airframe. The Raytheon Company will be awarded contracts for the STANDARD Missile-2 Block IIIC EMD and LRIP requirements on a sole source basis.[12]


RIM-66 (SM-2) being assembled

A RIM-66 being assembled.

In the US Navy, RIM-66 Standard was deployed on ships of the following classes, replacing RIM-24 Tartar in some cases:

RIM-66 has also been widely exported and is in service in other navies worldwide.

Surface to air variantsEdit

Designation Block Platform Notes
YRIM-66A Prototype Test flights starting in 1965.
RIM-66A SM-1MR Block I to IV Digital Tartar In Service 1967, Conscan radar seeker. SM-1MR Block IV was the main production variant. All rebuilt into Block V missiles.
  • ECCM improvements
  • Reduced minimum range
  • Shortened acquisition time for surface targets
RIM-66B SM-1MR Block V Digital Tartar
  • Replaced the RIM-24C
  • Plane scanning seeker
  • Faster-reacting autopilot
  • MK 90 blast-fragmentation warhead
  • Aerojet MK 56 dual-thrust rocket motor
RIM-66C SM-2MR Block I Aegis combat system, Mk26 launcher In Service 1978. First Aegis version.
  • Inertial/Command guidance introduced
  • MK 115 blast-fragmentation warhead
  • Monopulse seeker for ECM resistance
RIM-66D SM-2MR Block I New Threat Upgrade In Service 1978. First New Threat Upgrade version.
  • Nearly identical to RIM-66C
RIM-66E SM-1MR Blocks VI, VIA, VIB Digital Tartar and Mk 92 Fire Control System. In Service 1983. Version still in service with export customers.
  • Monopulse seeker developed for SM-2
  • Introduced MK 45 MOD 4 proximity fuze (also known as TDD - Target Detection Device)
  • MK 115 warhead of SM-2
  • MK 45 MOD 6 and MK 45 MOD 7 proximity fuzes in Block VIA (RIM-66E-5) and Block VIB (RIM-66E-6) respectively
RIM-66G SM-2MR Block II Aegis combat system, Mk26 launcher In Service 1983. For Aegis ships.
  • Introduced Thiokol MK 104 rocket motor, almost doubling the effective range
  • High-velocity fragmentation warhead
RIM-66H SM-2MR Block II Aegis combat system, Mk41 Launcher For Aegis ships with MK 41 VLS (Vertical Launch System)
RIM-66J SM-2MR Block II New Threat Upgrade For Tartar ships. All Block II missiles have been withdrawn from service. Many have been rebuilt as Block III missiles.
RIM-66K-1 SM-2MR Block III New Threat Upgrade In Service 1988. For Tartar ships.
  • Improved MK 45 MOD 9 Target Detecting Device, for better performance against low-altitude targets
RIM-66K-2 SM-2MR Block IIIA New Threat Upgrade In Service 1991. For Tartar ships. In Production.
  • MK 125 warhead with heavier grain explosive
RIM-66L-1 SM-2MR Block III Aegis combat system, Mk26 launcher In Service 1988. For Aegis ships.
  • Improved MK 45 MOD 9 Target Detecting Device, for better performance against low-altitude targets
RIM-66L-2 SM-2MR Block IIIA Aegis combat system, Mk26 launcher In Service 1991. For Aegis ships.
  • MK 125 warhead with heavier grain explosive
RIM-66M-1 SM-2MR Block III Aegis combat system, Mk41 Launcher In Service 1988. For Aegis ships with MK 41 VLS.
  • Improved MK 45 MOD 9 Target Detecting Device, for better performance against low-altitude targets
RIM-66M-2 SM-2MR Block IIIA Aegis combat system, Spain/Dutch/German Anti-Air Warfare System, Mk41 Launcher In Service 1991. For Aegis ships with MK 41 VLS. In production.
  • MK 125 warhead with heavier grain explosive
RIM-66M-5 SM-2MR Block IIIB Aegis combat system, Mk41 Launcher In Service 1998. For Aegis ships with MK 41 VLS. In production.
  • Missile Homing Improvement Program (MHIP), dual IR / SARH seeker, IR seeker mounted on side fairing.
RIM-66? SM-2MR Block IIIC Aegis combat system, Mk41 Launcher Development announced
  • Active terminal guidance

Table sources, reference material:[1][4][11][13]

Land Attack Standard MissileEdit

The RGM-165 LASM, also given the designation SM-4, was intended as means to give long-range precision fires in support of the US Marine Corps. Intended as an adaptation of the RIM-66, it retained the original MK 125 warhead and MK 104 rocket motor, with the radar seeker replaced by GPS/INS guidance. While test fired in 1997 using three modified RIM-66K SM-2MR Block III missiles, with 800 missiles set for replacement and IOC expected for 2003/2004, it was cancelled in 2002 due to limited capabilities against mobile or hardened targets.[14][15]



Map shows the RIM-66 MR operator as of 2015 (former operators in red)

Standard Missile - ID 060730-N-8977L-012

A RIM-66 being launched in 2006 from the Spanish frigate Canarias

Fregatte Sachsen (F 219)

German Sachsen-class frigate Sachsen launching a RIM-66.

HNLMS De Zeven Provincien fires a SM-2

HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën launching a RIM-66.

US Navy 110620-O-ZZ999-001 A Standard Missile (SM 2) is fired from HMAS Sydney (FFG 3) during a live-fire exercise near the Pacific Missile Range o

HMAS Sydney (FFG 3) launches an SM-2

Current operatorsEdit

Flag of Australia.svg Australia
Flag of Chile.svg Chile
Flag of France.svg France
Flag of Egypt.svg Egypt
Flag of Germany.png Germany
Flag of Iran.svg Iran
Flag of Italy.svg Italy
Flag of Japan.svg Japan
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands
Flag of Poland.svg Poland
Flag of Pakistan.svg Pakistan
Flag of South Korea.svg South Korea
Flag of Spain.svg Spain
Flag of the Republic of China.svg Taiwan
Flag of Turkey.svg Turkey
United States

Former operatorsEdit

Flag of Canada.svg Canada
Flag of Greece.svg Greece

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 United States Navy, US Navy Fact File:Standard Missile Archived 2007-11-16 at the Wayback Machine., October 11, 2002. Accessed June 5, 2006.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Raytheon Restarts SM-2 Production for the Netherlands Japan Australia and South Korea Archived 2017-06-22 at the Wayback Machine. -, 22 June 2017
  3. 3.0 3.1 Raytheon, Archived 2009-12-29 at the Wayback Machine., March 17, 2009, Accessed August 24, 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Raytheon RIM-66 Standard MR". Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  5. Canadian Forces Maritime Command. Standard missile. Accessed June 5, 2006. Archived December 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. Raytheon Press Release December 17, 2012. [1] Archived 2013-06-05 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed May 19, 2013.
  7. - Standard specs Archived 2007-11-21 at the Wayback Machine. Designation systems RIM-66 Archived 2012-12-03 at WebCite.
  8. United States Navy. "Formal Investigation into the Circumstances Surrounding the Downing of Iran Air Flight 655 on 3 July 1988" (PDF). Archived from the original on 16 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-28. 
  9. Surface Combatant Weapon System Archived 2013-06-26 at the Wayback Machine. RIM-67 / RIM-156 Standard Missile ER SM-1ER / SM-2ER
  10. "USS Mason fired 3 missiles to defend from Yemeni cruise missile attack". 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 USNI Combat Fleets 2005-2006, Wertheim, Eric; Editor, USN section Naval Institute Press 2005
  12. "Archived copy". 
  13. John Pike. "SM-2 RIM-66 / RIM-67 Standard Missile". Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  14. "Raytheon RGM-165 LASM". Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  15. John Pike. "RGM-165 Land Attack Standard Missile [LASM"]. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  16. Lundquist, Edward H.. "Interview with Adm. Richard Chen, Republic of China Navy (Ret.)". Defense Media Network. Retrieved 2 August 2019. 

External linksEdit

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