A Block II RAM is fired from a U.S. ship. Photograph: U.S. Navy.
WASHINGTON, May 18 (UPI) -- The new variant of a U.S.-German developed missile for defeating anti-ship cruise missiles has gained Initial Operational Capability with the U.S. Navy.
The Block II Rolling Airframe Missile features improved kinematic performance in maneuverability and range, as well as a more sophisticated radio frequency receiver. It received IOC status after its latest U.S. Navy tests in the Pacific aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington.
"We're very excited about the significantly increased capability Block 2 gives our warfighters," said Capt. Craig Bowden, RAM program manager. "It could not have been done without the outstanding cooperation between the U.S. and German governments. This program has become the hallmark of trans-Atlantic cooperation."
RAM is a small, lightweight, infrared homing surface-to-air missile, which came about from a 1970sm U.S. German Cooperative agreement. The missile is manufactured by Raytheon and Diehl BGT Defense.
The U.S. Navy IOC declaration for the Block II RAM comes after two years of joint development and operational testing by the U.S. Navy and the German government.
"Through cooperation, this program has continuously met all challenges and has successfully produced more than 3000 RAM missiles (Block 0, 1A, 2) and 200 launchers," said Steven Holsworth, U.S. national deputy program manager for RAM,. "The strength of the RAM community is also evident in the high success rate in our 450-plus live firing events in its history.
"The on-time, on-cost delivery of the first Block 2 missiles embodies the best of the U.S. and German design/production capabilities. With the completion of recent test events, we are ready to write the next chapter of the RAM success story by delivering the enhanced capability to the U.S., German, and allied warships on which RAM is deployed."
RAM is deployed on U.S Navy CVN, LCS, LHA, LHD, LSD and LPD 17 class warships and 22 vessels of the Germany Navy.