Block IIIA and IIIB variants
The SM-2 variants include radar seeker technologies in continuous wave and interrupted continuous wave guidance modes, tail controls and solid rocket motor propulsion to engage high-speed maneuvering threats and updated radar targeting and directional warheads.
Block IIIB enhances its predecessor’s capabilities by adding autonomous infrared acquisition. The U.S. Navy plans to use this variant through 2035.
Raytheon Missiles & Defense restarted its SM-2 production line after multiple countries pooled resources to make a "bundle" purchase. The company reconfigured and modernized its SM-2 missile factory to increase production efficiencies. It also signed new agreements with several suppliers.
In 2020, Raytheon Missiles & Defense and the Navy successfully flight tested the first SM-2 missile from the company's restarted production line. The SM-2 Block IIIB missile launched, flew and provided accurate telemetry data to the range, and engaged an airborne Navy target.
The SM-2 has an extensive flight test history, with more than 2,700 successful live firings. Its durability has led navies in several countries to reconfigure their fleets to support SM-2 applications.