April 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy announced a successful live-fire exercise of its Rolling Airframe Missile from the littoral combat ship USS Charleston on Monday.
The launching of the SeaRAM missiles from the San Diego-based vessel was a part of exercises involving all of the ship's weaponry, and occurred on Thursday, the Navy said in a statement.
SeaRAM missiles, also known as RIM-116 RAM missiles, are lightweight, quick-reaction missiles designed to defeat cruise missiles and asymmetric air and surface threats. Equipped with Phalanx search-and-track radar and Electro Optic sensor, 11-missile pods are carried within launchers aboard the ship.
The missiles were originally based on the design of Sidewinder missiles, and have been through three iterations, with the Block 2 configuration currently in full-rate production.
The Navy calls the SeaRam system "a complete combat weapon system that automatically detects, evaluates, tracks, engages, and performs kill assessment against ASM [anti-ship missiles] and highspeed aircraft threats."
The navies of 11 countries use variants of the system, and the U.S. Navy plans the purchase of about 1,600 Raytheon-made missiles and115 launchers, to equip 74 ships.
"I am incredibly proud of the Charleston Gold crew and the efforts that have led to this successful SeaRAM launch," said Cmdr. Joseph Burgon, commanding officer of the USS Charleston's Gold Crew.