Australian firm joins missile program

Aug. 9, 2011 at 12:28 PM
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EDINBURGH, Australia, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Australian Aerospace Composites has been chosen by BAE Systems Australia to manufacture dorsal fins for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile.

The ESSM -- an improved version of the RIM-7 missile -- is a short-range, self-defense weapon for surface ships.

AAC will join a number of other Australian industries involved in the ESSM program with production expected to continue to 2018 for the current model.

BAE Systems Australia said a forthcoming Block II ESSM may require dorsal fin redesign effort by the companies.

Australian involvement in the multinational ESSM program began in 1995 and has achieved more than $300 million in export sales. ESSM serves on more than 200 NATO and Australian warships.

BAE Systems Australia, as the design authority for Dorsal Fins, Aerodynamic Control Fins and Thrust Vector Controllers, is the principal Australian partner for the Raytheon Missile Systems-led ESSM program.

BAE Systems Australia also developed the algorithms for the missile guidance during the first phase of flight and was instrumental in development of the enhanced home-all-the-way guidance mode, which provides a local area defense capability by the missile.

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