TUCSON, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- The 2,000th Evolved SeaSparrow Missile, used primarily for maritime air defense, has been delivered to the NATO SeaSparrow consortium.
The missile, a product of Raytheon, is used by 12 countries, including the United States.
"ESSM is a model for global operations and the delivery of our 2,000th missile demonstrates the significant commitment of our international team to continue providing this critical capability to the warfighter," said Ed Roesly, Raytheon Missile Systems' ESSM program director. "We have delivered ESSMs for a decade and expect continued production past 2017."
The Evolved SeaSparrow Missile is 12 feet long, weighs 620 pounds and has an 86-pound blast fragmentation warhead. Enhancements include a guidance system with improved seeker sensitivity, greater and greater accuracy.
"Combined, these features result in ESSM arriving at the intercept point with more speed and agility to counter the threat," Raytheon said.
"ESSM represents more than four decades of technology and design improvements by a 43-year international cooperative partnership composed of 12 nations, 10 of which employ ESSM."