The U.S. Department of Defense awarded Raytheon a contract valued $130 million to build RAM Block 2 missiles for Japan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.).
This contract covers Rolling Airframe Missile Block 2/2A Guided Missile Round Pack, spare replacement components and recertification. It “combines purchases for the U.S. government (66%); and the governments of Japan, Turkey and U.A.E. (34% combined) under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program,” a DoD release today said.
Interestingly, in December, the U.S. slapped sanctions under CAATSA against Turkey for buying S-400 missile systems from Russia. In the following month when new President Joe Biden took office, he suspended arms sales to the U.A.E and Saudi Arabia over their involvement in the Yemen war.
Work for today's contract is expected to be completed by March 2024.
RIM‑116C Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM)
Raytheon’s supersonic, lightweight, quick-reaction, fire-and-forget weapon, the RAM system, is designed to destroy anti-ship missiles. It's currently deployed on more than 165 ships in 11 countries, ranging from 500-ton fast attack craft to 95,000-ton aircraft carriers. Requiring no additional direction upon launch, its passive radio frequency and infrared guidance design provide firepower to engage multiple threats simultaneously.
RAM Block 2 missile
The Block 2 variant, the latest evolution in the development of the RAM missile, has a larger rocket motor, advanced control section and an enhanced RF receiver capable of detecting the quietest of threat emitters. The improvements make the missile two and a half times more maneuverable, with one and a half times the effective intercept range.
The MK 44 guided missile round pack and the MK 49 guided missile launching system, which hold 21 missiles, comprise the MK 31 guided missile weapon system. The system is designed to be easily integrated into many different ships. A variety of existing ship sensors can readily provide the target and pointing information required to engage the anti-ship threat.
The MK 44 missile is also used in the SeaRAM anti-ship missile defense system, replacing the M601A1 Gatling gun in the Phalanx close-in weapon system with an 11-round launcher. The Phalanx system’s sensor suite and internal combat management system reduces dependency on the ship’s combat system and enables a fast reaction to stressing anti-ship missiles. The RAM Block 2 missile has been successfully fired from a SeaRAM system.