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RAM Block 2A missiles made by Raytheon ready for the US Navy.

| 2019

The U.S. Navy successfully completed a series of guided-flight tests with the Raytheon's RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) Block 2A short-range, surface-to-air missiles. Testing occurred at the Naval Air Warfare Center in California, and from the Navy's self-defence test ship off the coast of Southern California.

RAM Block 2A missiles made by Raytheon ready for the US Navy RAM Block 2A missiles to be ready for the US Navy (Picture Source: Raytheon)

The RAM™ guided missile weapon system is the world's most modern ship self-defence weapon and is designed to provide exceptional protection for ships of all sizes. It's currently deployed on more than 165 ships in 11 countries, ranging from 500-tonne fast attack craft to 95,000-tonne aircraft carriers.

A supersonic, lightweight, quick-reaction, fire-and-forget weapon, the RAM system is designed to destroy anti-ship missiles. Requiring no additional direction upon launch, its passive radio frequency and infrared guidance design provide high-firepower capability for engaging multiple threats simultaneously. The missile is continually improved to stay ahead of the ever-evolving threat of anti-ship missiles, helicopters, aircraft and surface craft.

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 manoeuvrable, with one and a half times the effective intercept range. This provides the Block 2 variant with the capability to defeat highly stressing threats, increasing the survivability of the defended ship. Raytheon Company expects to deliver the first RAM Block 2A missiles to the U.S. Navy by the end of 2019.

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 defence 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 stress anti-ship missiles. The RAM Block 2 missile has been successfully fired from a SeaRAM system.

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