Encyclopedia Astronautica

Credit: via Andreas Parsch
American Navy long range surface-to-air missile. Later versions have anti-ballistic missile capability.

Failures: 2. Success Rate: 93.33%. First Fail Date: 1997-09-26. Last Fail Date: 2000-07-01. Launch data is: continuing. Initial Operational Capability: 1968.

Historical Essay © Andreas Parsch

Raytheon (General Dynamics) RIM-67 Standard ER

The Standard missile program was initiated in 1963 to provide a replacement for the RIM-2 Terrier and RIM-24 Tartar missile systems. The Tartar replacement was designated RIM-66 Standard MR (Medium Range), while the longer-range Terrier replacement became the RIM-67 Standard ER (Extended Range). The Standard is still the U.S. Navy's main medium and long range air defense missile.

All blocks of the Standard SM-1ER missile were designated as RIM-67A. They were essentially identical to the corresponding SM-1MR missile, except for the propulsion. Instead of the MR's MK-56 dual-thrust motor, the ER used an Atlantic Research Corp. MK 30 solid-fuel rocket sustainer motor, and a Hercules MK 12 booster.

The main improvements of the SM-2MR Block I-II-III missiles were also included in the corresponding SM-2ER versions, the major new features being the inertial guidance system, and the monopulse seeker for terminal homing. However, SM-2ER is not designed to be fired from Aegis ships. The SM-2ER Block I was designated RIM-67B, and entered service in 1980.

The RIM-67C SM-2ER Block II introduced a new MK 70 booster (regrained MK 12), which almost doubled the range of the SM-2ER. Interestingly, the enhanced booster extended the performance envelope of the RIM-67C well beyond the limits of the then current fire-control system on Terrier ships, but it did of course improve general missile performance against high-performance targets.

The RIM-67D SM-2ER Block III had a new model of the sustainer engine (MK 30 MOD 4), and an improved MK 45 MOD 8 TDD (Target Detecting Device).

The SM-2ER Block IV is a version with a completely new finless booster, designed for vertical launch on Aegis-VLS ships. Although this has been reported to be designated RIM-67E, the probably correct designation is RIM-156A, q.v.

In the 1980's the U.S. Navy planned a nuclear-armed version of the Standard SM-2ER, because the last nuclear armed surface-to-air missiles, the RIM-2D Terrier and RIM-8E-G-J Talos, were about to be retired, leaving the Navy without a nuclear anti-air warfare capability. The nuclear SM-2 was to be equipped with a W-81 fission warhead (4 kT yield). However, these plans have since been dropped, and the U.S. Navy has currently no nuclear-armed SAMs.

In 1995, Hughes (now Raytheon) proposed to convert obsolete RIM-2 Terrier missiles, of which more than 2000 were in storage, to supersonic low-altitude target (SLAT) configuration as a replacement of and-or successor to the MQM-8 Vandal. At 10 m altitude, range would have been 40 km (22 nm) with the MK 30 motor, or 64 km (35 nm) with the new MK 104 dual-thrust motor. As a ballistic missile target, maximum altitude and range could be 85 km (280000 ft) and 275 km (150 nm), respectively (168 km-550 km with MK 104 motor). The designation YRQM-67A was assigned to protoype conversions.

Raytheon is currently converting old Terrier and SM-2ER rounds to TMT (Terrier Missile Target) configuration. Although I don't have firm evidence, these targets are probably designated RQM-67A.


Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for RIM-67A-C, except where noted:

Length (incl. booster) 7.98 m (26 ft 2 in)
Finspan 1.07 m (42.3 in); booster: 1.57 m (62 in)
Diameter 0.34 m (13.5 in); booster: 0.45 m (18 in)
Weight 1340 kg (2960 lb)
Speed Mach 2.5 Mach 3.5
Ceiling > 24400 m (80000 ft)
Range 65 km (35 nm) 185 km (100 nm)
Propulsion Atlantic Research Corp. MK 30 solid-rocket sustainer
RIM-67A: Hercules MK 12 solid-rocket booster; RIM-67C: Hercules MK 70 solid-rocket booster
Warhead MK 51 continuous-rod MK 115 blast-fragmentation
Main Sources

[1] Norman Friedman: "US Naval Weapons", Conway Maritime Press, 1983
[2] Norman Friedman: "World Naval Weapons Systems, 1997-98", Naval Institute Press, 1997
[3] Bill Gunston: "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rockets and Missiles", Salamander Books Ltd, 1979

AKA: RIM-67.
Status: Active.
First Launch: 1992.12.01.
Last Launch: 2008.11.20.
Number: 26 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • Standard-ER American Navy long range surface-to-air missile family. Later versions had anti-ballistic missile and anti-satellite capability. More...
  • missile Guided self-propelled military weapon (as opposed to rocket, an unguided self-propelled weapon). More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Pomona American manufacturer of rockets. Pomona, California, USA. More...

  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.

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