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06:11 AM, March 19, 2019
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RIM-162 ESSM launched from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in 2010 (Image: Wikipedia)

Raytheon is awarded a $97 million modification contract for long-lead material in support of fiscal 2019 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) Block 2 low-rate initial production requirements.

The Evolved SEASPARROW Missile (ESSM) program is an international cooperative effort to design, develop, test, and procure ESSM missiles. The ESSM provides enhanced ship defense, the US department of defense said in a statement Monday.

Work is expected to be completed by March 2023.

The RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) is a development of the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missile used to protect ships from attacking missiles and aircraft. ESSM is designed to counter supersonic manoeuvring anti-ship missiles. ESSM also has the ability to be "quad-packed" in the Mark 41 Vertical Launch System, allowing up to four ESSMs to be carried in a single cell.

The ESSM consortium members include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Turkey and the US.

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