The amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans fires a surface-to air-intercept missile from its Rolling Airframe Missile launcher. File Photo by MCS2 Gary Granger Jr./U.S. Navy/UPI
July 1 (UPI) -- A $36.7 million contract for Rolling Airframe Missiles and Guided Missile Launching Systems has been awarded to Raytheon Missile Systems, the Defense Department announced.
The missile system was ordered by the U.S. Navy and the Japanese military, under the Foreign Military Sales program. Japan will underwrite the cost of nine percent of the contract, which was announced on Friday.
The missile is a small, infrared homing surface-to-air missile in use since the 1980s and used primarily as a weapon against anti-ship cruise missiles. It was jointly developed by the U.S. and German governments.
The missile is named for its ability to roll on its longitudinal axis to stabilize its flight path. The six-ton Guided Missile Launcher unit can store 21 missiles.
The missile is in use aboard Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers, Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, Wasp-class amphibious assault ships and San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ships, as well as on dock landing ships and littoral combat ships.
The contract calls for procurement of parts, assembly, testing and delivery of RAM Mk 49 Mod 3 GMLS units, with a completion date of June 2021. Work will be done largely in Raytheon facilities in Tucson, Ariz., Ottobrun, Germany, and Louisville, Ky.
The Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C., is the contracting agent.