Ship self-defence block by block

Raytheon has been awarded a $145.4m contract to upgrade the US Navy’s ship self-defence weapon platform, Rolling Airframe Missile Block 1.

Under the contract, the US Navy has invested in the development of the weapons system, Rolling Airframe Missile Block 2, an upgraded version of Rolling Airframe Missile Block 1. The system has been designed to protect ships of all sizes.

‘Rolling Airframe Missile Block 2 significantly increases the effective range and manoueuvrability via a larger dual-thrust rocket motor and independent four-canard control actuator system,’ said Todd Callahan, Raytheon Missile Systems program director for Rolling Airframe Missile. ‘These enhancements extend the system’s capability against a wide variety of threats, including the highly manoeuvrable anti-ship cruise missiles.’

The Rolling Airframe Missile system incorporates an image-scanning seeker with autonomous infrared guidance. It will be used on many ships in the US’s naval fleet, including the LPD 17, LHA 1, CV 63 and the Littoral Combat Ship.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding, Raytheon’s German industry partner, RAM-System, will develop a missile radio frequency sensor with guidance radars.

The operational start date for the Rolling Missile Block 2 system is scheduled for 2011.

The upgraded launching system will be compatible with the existing Rolling Airframe Missile platform and the SeaRAM Anti-Ship Missile Defence System.