US Navy contract goes to BAE Systems, Plymouth

Raytheon Missile Systems has awarded BAE Systems a production start-up contract for silicon inertial measurement units that will be used on the US Navy’s Rolling Airframe Missile.

Raytheon Missile Systems has awarded BAE Systems a production start-up contract for silicon inertial measurement units that will be used on the US Navy’s Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM).

BAE Systems Inertial Products in Plymouth, UK, will produce SiIMUv inertial measurement units using the company’s Micro-machined Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) technology.

According to a statement, the SiIMUv provides inertial data for the missile guidance autopilot. Replacing the conventional spinning-wheel gyro in the missile with the solid-state silicon sensor provides a major improvement in life-cycle cost, due to its low initial manufacturing cost and long storage life. Use of silicon technology also reduces size, weight, and power consumption.

RAM is a lightweight, high-firepower anti-ship weapon system jointly developed by the US and German governments. The system is currently installed, or planned for installation, on 83 US Navy and 28 German Navy ships. The US Navy expects to procure approximately 1,000 RAM Block 1 missiles.

BAE Systems in Plymouth recently received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its silicon gyroscope technology. The recognition was awarded for the SiVSG gyroscope, the world’s first micro-machined silicon ring gyroscope, which is used to detect rotational motion in both commercial and defence applications.