TUCSON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Raytheon's latest anti-ship missile variant intercepted an incoming target from a SeaRAM missile system during a U.S. Navy live-fire exercise.
Company officials say the SeaRAM system successfully tracked and engaged inbound threats, firing a Rolling Airframe Missile Block 2 for the first time. The system was configured with a Phalanx Close-In Weapon System for the test, similar to how the U.S. Navy plans to deploy the systems in combat.
"SeaRAM continues to demonstrate how vital a weapon it is for defending navies against anti-ship missiles," Raytheon Naval and Area Mission Defense vice president Rick Nelson said in a statement. "Raytheon's close-in defense systems can provide warfighters with a capability found nowhere else, and help the U.S. Navy extend its reach with a layered defense that can counter various threats."
The SeaRAM missile defense system is a follow-up of the Phalanx Close-In Weapon System, a rapid-fire, computer-controlled radar and 20mm gun. The SeaRAM uses an 11-missile RAM launcher in place of the Phalanx's 20mm gun, in addition to incorporating the Phalanx's Block 1B search-and-track sensor systems for enhanced accuracy and range. The system is designed to allow naval ships to defend against multiple incoming threats.
The U.S. Navy awarded Raytheon a $66.6 million contract for fiscal year 2016 for RAM Block 2 guided missile round pack requirements. If all options are exercised, the contract's value could reach $142.8 million.
RAM is a cooperative program between the United States and Germany, with support from Raytheon and RAMSYS of Germany.