Raytheon Co., Tucson, Arizona, is awarded a contract for engineering and technical services in support of the Evolved Seasparrow Missile Systems programs. The Evolved SeaSparrow Missile is a development of the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missile used to protect ships from attacking missiles and aircraft. This contract combines purchases for the governments of Japan and United Arab Emirates under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Work is expected to be completed by December 2022. The U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.
Japan is considering participating in the 12-country NATO consortium which manages the development of the Sea Sparrow family of ship-borne missiles. Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force operates the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow and RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow (ESSM) missiles, which are assembled in Japan by Mitsubishi under a coproduction agreement with NATO and the United States. Raytheon has teamed with Abu Dhabi Ship Building, the United Arab Emirates Navy’s prime provider of maritime logistics support, for more than a decade. They’ve installed RAM missiles and launchers, as well as Evolved Seasparrow Missiles, onto the UAE’s Baynunah-class corvettes and other ships.
The RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile is designed to counter supersonic maneuvering 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 guided missile is an international cooperative upgrade of the RIM-7 Seasparrow Missile. It provides self-defense battlespace and firepower against high-speed, highly maneuverable anti-ship missiles in the naval environment.
Developed by the U.S. Navy and nine of the other 11-member nations of the NATO SEASPARROW Consortium, the ESSM missile is bringing transformational anti-ship missile defense capabilities to the U.S., NATO and other allies. Members of the Consortium include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United States. With more than 2,000 proven rounds in service or in production and another 1,500 rounds anticipated based on customer requirements, the ESSM missile will likely be supported through 2030 and beyond.