WASHINGTON – Rocket experts from Raytheon Technologies Corp. will build three years of assemblies for the next generation missiles on board capable of defeating a wide range of aircraft and missile threats with an active radar seeker capable of operating independently of the launch ship under the terms of a $78.7 million contract announced Thursday.
U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command officials in Washington are asking the Raytheon Missiles & Defense segment in Tucson, Arizona, for guided missiles for RIM-162 Evolved Seasparrow Missile (ESSM) Block 2 full-rate production.
The ESSM Block 2 was first deployed to the Navy and Allied Navies in 2020. The ship’s self-defense missile features a dual-mode X-band radar seeker can attack enemy aircraft and missiles from a distance of more than 25 miles. RIM stands for radar interceptor missile.
Compared to its ESSM Block 1 predecessor, the ESSM Block 2 antiaircraft missiles have increased maneuverability and other improvements that will enable the missile to defeat future threats to US and allied navies operating in hostile environments, Raytheon officials say. The ESSM Block 2’s active seeker supports terminal engagement without the launch ship’s target illumination radars.
In addition to the US Navy, the governments of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Turkey will use ESSM Block 2 anti-aircraft missile.
ESSM is a medium-range, semi-active target missile that makes flight corrections via radar and midcourse data uplinks. The missile provides reliable ship self-defense capability against agile, high speed, low altitude anti-ship cruise missiles, low speed airborne threats such as helicopters, and high speed, maneuverable enemy surface ships.
The missile is 12 feet long and has 10-inch diameter control and rocket motor sections that taper to an 8-inch diameter guide section with a dome-protected antenna for semi-active homing and a warhead. It has a powerful solid propellant rocket engine and tail control via a thrust vector controller.
The first production ESSM Block 1 was delivered in late 2002 and has been fully operational in the US since 2004.
Raytheon will do the work for this contract in Tucson, Arizona; Edinburgh, Australia; San Jose, Torrance and Westlake Village, California; Raufoss, Norway; Mississauga and Cambridge, Ontario; Ottobrunn, Germany; Nashua, NH; Hengelo Ov, The Netherlands; Koropi Attica, Greece; Canton, N.Y.; Ankara, Turkey; Grenaa, Denmark and other locations, and should be ready by March 2025.