FALLS CHURCH, Va., Aug. 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's Block 2 Rolling Airframe Missile is entering low-rate initial production by Raytheon under a $51.7 million contract.
The RAM is a quick reaction, fire-and-forget missile for defense against anti-ship cruise missiles, helicopters and other airborne threats, as well as surface craft. The missile's Block 2 configuration has enhanced kinematics, a new rocket motor and autopilot system.
Raytheon said if all Navy contract options were exercised, the award's total value would be more than $105 million.
"This next-generation RAM will enable U.S. and allied naval warfighters to defeat the more sophisticated threats emerging around the world today," said Rick Nelson, Raytheon Missile Systems' vice president of Naval Weapon Systems.
"Through Raytheon's collaborative relationship with our German partner RAMSYS, we continue to improve and expand the capabilities of RAM."
The missile was developed by Raytheon and RAMSYS as a countermeasure to anti-ship cruise missiles. Its name derives from its flight characteristics -- it rolls around its longitudinal axis like a rifle bullet.