RIM-66 Standard MR
A RIM-66 Standard MR on a Mk-26 launcher
TypeMedium-range surface-to-air missile with anti-ship capability
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1967 (RIM-66A SM-1MR Block I)
1979 (RIM-66C SM-2MR)[1]
Used bySee list of Operators
Production history
Produced1967 onwards
No. builtOver 5,000[2]
MassSM-2 – 1,558 lb (707 kg)
Length15 ft 6 in (4.72 m)
Diameter13.5 in (34.3 cm)
Wingspan3 ft 6 in (1.07 m)
WarheadBlast fragmentation warhead
Radar and contact fuze

EngineDual thrust, solid-fuel rocket
40 to 92 nmi (74 to 170 km)
Flight ceiling> 25,000 m (82,000 ft)
Maximum speed Mach 3.5 (4,290 km/h; 2,660 mph; 1.19 km/s)
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 an anti-ship missile, 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 systems. The intention was to produce a new generation of guided missiles that could be retrofit to existing guided missile systems.[4]

Standard Missile 1

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 fuze 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.[5]

Standard Missile 2

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.[5]

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

The guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur 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. They are now most commonly launched from the Mk 41 VLS, which is a modular design concept with different versions that vary in size and weight. There are three lengths for this VLS: 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.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8]


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.[9]

Due to the end of the US Navy's support of the SM-1 missile system the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology has taken over support for the system in Taiwanese service including production of replacement rocket motors.[10] The same approach was taken for the SM-1's Mark 13 missile launcher.[11]

Operational history

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.[5]

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-2MRs from her forward launcher.[12] In 1988 the Iranian Kaman-class missile boat Joshan was disabled by RIM-66s.[13]

On 9 October 2016, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Mason fired two SM-2s, as well as one Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, at two incoming Houthi anti-ship missiles off the coast of Yemen, one of which struck the water on its own. It is unknown if the SM-2s were responsible for intercepting the second cruise missile.[14] On 12 October, Mason again came under attack by an anti-ship missile, and an SM-2 she fired was confirmed to have intercepted it at a range of 8 miles.[15][16] This marked the first time in history a warship successfully defended itself with SAMs launched from vertical launch cells against an anti-ship missile. The ship experienced yet a third attack on 15 October, this time with 5 AShMs. She fired SM-2s, destroying four of the missiles.[16]

See also: USS Mason (DDG-87) § 2016 attacks off the coast of Yemen

On 1 April 2020, a Turkish Navy G-class frigate fired at least a SM-1MR Block VIA RIM-66E-05 supposedly against an UAV operated in support of the Libyan National Army. The missile missed and landed near al-Ajaylat, just southwest of Sabratha.[17]

On 19 October 2023, the USS Carney fired SM-2s to shoot down three land-attack cruise missiles and eight drones launched from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen. The interceptions occurred over the Red Sea; although the ship wasn't threatened, the missiles were headed north towards Israel following the start of the 2023 Israel-Hamas War.[18] From October 2023 to January 2024, several U.S. Navy destroyers downed dozens of missiles and attack drones launched by the Houthis against ships transiting the Red Sea, primarily using SM-2s. Although the SM-2 effectively intercepted the threats, at a cost of roughly $2.4 million per missile, it is inefficient at shooting down drones, causing concerns about expending them against such cheap targets and depleting a ship's limited VLS capacity.[19]

Deployment history

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

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

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.[5]

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

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.[5]

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

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.[20]

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

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.[5]

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

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.[5]

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

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.[20] 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 Active

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. The SM-2 Block IIIC is now in production and deployed aboard Navy Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.[21]


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.


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 and MK 26 GMLS 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 and MK 26 GMLS 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 and Mk 41 VLS 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 and MK 26 GMLS 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 and MK 26 GMLS In service 1991. For Aegis ships.
  • MK 125 warhead with heavier grain explosive
RIM-66M-1, -4 SM-2MR Block III Aegis combat system and MK 41 VLS 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, -3 SM-2MR Block IIIA Aegis combat system and MK 41 VLS, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Australia, other foreign navies In service 1991. For Aegis ships with MK 41 VLS. In production.
  • MK 125 warhead with heavier grain explosive
RIM-66M-5, -7, -8, -09, -10, -11 SM-2MR Block IIIB Aegis combat system and MK 41 VLS, JMSDF 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.
    • -09: Improved MK 45 MOD 14 TDD, 2006
    • -10: Manueverability Upgrade 2 (MU-2), MK 97 MOD 0 guidance section, 2007
RIM-66M-6? SM-2MR Block IIIC Aegis combat system and MK 41 VLS Development announced 2017
  • Active terminal guidance, improved ECCM, enhanced fuzing
RIM-66N-1 SM-2MR Block IIIAZ TSCE-I/ZCS and MK 57 PVLS Produced as conversion kits for Block IIIA between 2017–2018, test fired in 2020. For Zumwalt-class destroyer with MK 57 PVLS. Full production pending contract award in 2021.
  • Block IIIA with JUWL (Joint Universal Weapon Link), ICWI (interrupted continuous wave illumination) for compatibility with AN/SPY-3.

Table sources, reference material:[1][4][20][22]

Land Attack Standard Missile

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.[23][24]


This article possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (June 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Map shows the RIM-66 MR operator as of 2015 (former operators in red)
A RIM-66 being launched in 2006 from the Spanish frigate Canarias
German Sachsen-class frigate Sachsen launching a RIM-66.
HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën launching a RIM-66.
HMAS Sydney launches an SM-2

Current operators

 South Korea
 United States

Former operators


See also

Related development

Similar role


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  2. ^ a b Raytheon Restarts SM-2 Production for the Netherlands Japan Australia and South Korea Archived 2017-06-22 at the Wayback Machine - Navyrecognition.com, 22 June 2017
  3. ^ a b Raytheon, Raytheon.com Archived 2009-12-29 at the Wayback Machine, March 17, 2009, Accessed August 24, 2009.
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  6. ^ Friedman, Norman (2006). The Naval Institute Guide to World Naval Weapon Systems (5th ed.). Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. p. 600.
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  12. ^ 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 (PDF) on 16 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-28.
  13. ^ Surface Combatant Weapon System Archived 2013-06-26 at the Wayback Machine RIM-67 / RIM-156 Standard Missile ER SM-1ER / SM-2ER
  14. ^ "USS Mason fired 3 missiles to defend from Yemeni cruise missile attack". 11 October 2016. Archived from the original on 2018-08-09.
  15. ^ Copp, Tara. "Aegis defense system helped stop missile attack on USS Mason". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 2022-09-02.
  16. ^ a b Ziezulewicz, Geoff (2017-11-03). "Four ship crews receive Combat Action Ribbon". Navy Times. Retrieved 2022-09-02.
  17. ^ "Turkish ship fired SAM off Libya coast". April 2020.
  18. ^ U.S. Destroyer Used SM-2s to Down 3 Land Attack Missiles Launched from Yemen, Says Pentagon. USNI News. 19 October 2023.
  19. ^ What the Navy is learning from its fight in the Red Sea. Defense News. 18 January 2024.
  20. ^ a b c USNI Combat Fleets 2005-2006, Wertheim, Eric; Editor, USN section Naval Institute Press 2005
  21. ^ http://www.militaryaerospace.com/sensors/article/14195475/missile-radarguided-shiplaunched
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  23. ^ "Raytheon RGM-165 LASM". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  24. ^ John Pike. "RGM-165 Land Attack Standard Missile [LASM]". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 27 October 2015.