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Obscure 23-Year Old Navy SAM Was So Ahead Of Its Time That It's Still In High Demand Today

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Raytheon's Standard Missile 6, or SM-6, has sucked up most of the public's attention in recent years as it has become the most versatile surface-to-air and surface-to-surface weapon in the U.S. Navy's arsenal. Other services are now taking notice, too, and the Navy is already working on building an even more capable version.

Still, the older SM-2 branch of the Standard family of missiles, also sometimes referred to collectively in its newer form as the SM-2 Medium Range (SM-2MR), remains the backbone of the Navy's area air defense capability. These missiles sit in hundreds of vertical launch cells and ships' magazines around the globe, ready to defend U.S. and allied fleets against a range of aerial threats. 

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