US State Department approves $650m sale of SM-6 Block I to the Republic of Korea - interceptors can shoot down ballistic missiles within a 240km radius

By: Maksim Panasovskyi | 15.11.2023, 22:54
US State Department approves $650m sale of SM-6 Block I to the Republic of Korea - interceptors can shoot down ballistic missiles within a 240km radius

The Republic of Korea earlier this year formally announced plans to purchase SM-6 (Standard Missile 6) missile interceptors. On 14 November 2023, the potential sale was approved by the US State Department.

Here's What We Know

The deal is valued at $650 million. In addition to 38 SM-6 missile interceptors in Block I configuration, the Republic of Korea will receive related equipment, including MK 21 vertical launch system containers.

The SM-6 Block purchase will arm KDX-III class destroyers with the Aegis missile defence system. The potential sale will support the national security and foreign policy goals of the United States by providing needed defence to an American ally.

Development of the SM-6 began nearly 20 years ago. Two years after launch, RTX conducted tests. In 2009, pre-production began. The first missile interceptor in Block I configuration appeared in 2015. It is capable of shooting down ballistic missiles within a radius of 240 kilometres. The active guidance system is capable of tracking targets at a distance of more than 400 kilometres.

At the moment, the US Navy is working on the integration of SM-6 missile interceptors in Block IA configuration. This version of the anti-aircraft missile provides over-the-horizon air threat capture using the Aegis system.

Source: DSCA