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Raytheon to support Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile for U.S., NATO partners

By
James LaPorta
An Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile launches from the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower during a live-fire missile exercise in the Atlantic Ocean on April 21, 2016. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class J. Alexander Delgado/U.S. Navy
An Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile launches from the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower during a live-fire missile exercise in the Atlantic Ocean on April 21, 2016. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class J. Alexander Delgado/U.S. Navy

Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Naval Sea Systems Command has tapped Raytheon with a contract to support the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile design agent.

The contract, announced on Wednesday by the Department of Defense, is worth more than $37.5 million and falls under a cost-plus-fixed fee modification to a previously awarded contract for technical and engineering support of Raytheon's Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile.

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A cost-plus-fixed fee contract is a cost-reimbursement agreement that could provide Raytheon additional funds if the company runs into overrun costs on the contract. The reimbursement fee is negotiated before the contract is finalized.

The Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, or ESSM, is a joint collaborative effort between the U.S. Navy and 11 other NATO-member nations to upgrade the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow Missile, a naval ship armament for defense against short-range anti-ship missiles.

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What gives the ESSM an advantage over the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow Missile is its ability to defend against "high-speed, highly maneuverable anti-ship missiles in the naval environment," according to Raytheon. Moreover, it expands the capabilities of the ESSM missile concept from a singular mission of sea-based defense to also accompany ground-based defense mechanisms as well.

The ground-based ESSM will be integrated into Raytheon's National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, much like the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to Air Missile and the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile.

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Most of the work on the contract will occur in Arizona, with some also taking place in Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Spain, Turkey, Denmark and Greece, and is expected to be completed by December 2018.

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More than $10.2 million from Navy fiscal year 2018 other procurement funds will be obligated to Raytheon at the time of award, and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

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