"US Navy commanders want both capability and flexibility to meet a wide variety of missions, and that's exactly what SM-6 offers," Raytheon Senior Program Director Mike Campisi said in the release. "Its use is transforming defense."
The announcement of the contract follows the successful completion of a test in which SM-6 interceptors successfully destroyed five simultaneous targets, prompting Raytheon to predict a declaration of "full operational capability" as early as 2017.
Raytheon recently upgraded the interceptor to take out supersonic ballistic missiles as well as more conventional weapons, such as cruise missiles and rockets fired from fighter jets and helicopters operating beyond the horizon.
The company is widely known for developing a number of missile defense systems, including the Patriot interceptor which featured prominently in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.