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Sea Sparrow Missile/Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile

Photo of a <I>Sea Sparrow</I>  Missile being launched

Description: The Mk 57 NATO Sea Sparrow Missile System (NSSMS) is deployed on more than 50 U.S. Navy ships and numerous NATO ships as their primary surface-to-air ship self-defense missile system. Modifications to the Sea Sparrow continue, including re-architecture (REARCH), which reduces maintenance and manpower requirements, increases firepower, integrates the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM), and reduces cost of ownership through the use of COTS parts.

ESSM is the next generation of Sea Sparrow missiles, selected for the Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) Flight IIA Aegis destroyer self-defense system as well as for aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships. ESSM is a kinematic upgrade to the improved RIM-7P missile; the existing rocket motor and control section are replaced with a larger-diameter rocket motor, a tail control section for increased responsiveness, and an integrated thrust vector control for vertical launch applications. ESSM will also have an upgraded warhead and a quick-start electronic upgrade. Enhanced ESSM kinematic performance and warhead lethality will leverage the robust RIM-7P guidance capability to provide increased operational effectiveness against high-speed maneuvering anti-ship cruise missiles at greater intercept ranges than is now possible with the RIM-7P. ESSM will be incorporated into the Aegis Weapon System for short- to medium-range missile defense. ESSM development is being pursued as an international cooperative initiative involving ten countries in the NATO Sea Sparrow Consortium.

Photo of a NATO <I>Sea Sparrow</I>  Missile launching from a U.S. Navy Aircraft carrier

Program Status: In-service support of NATO Sea Sparrow systems is continuing, and fleet introduction of the vertical-launched Sea Sparrow in three partner navies is complete. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in June 1995, ten nations signed a Production MOU for the ESSM in December 1997, and an ESSM Cooperative In-Service Support MOU is awaiting final signature. A Milestone III decision is expected in FY 2003 for Full-Rate Production and IOC in FY 2003, with fleet introduction on an Arleigh Burke Flight IIA Aegis destroyer.

RIM-66C SM-2
Standard Missile-2 Blocks III/IIIA/IIIB

Photo of a Standard Surface To Air Missile launching from the Vertical Launching System of a US Navy Arleigh Burke Class DDG Ship

Description: The Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) is the Navy's primary surface-to-air theater air warfare weapon. Deployed SM-2 Block III/IIIA/IIIB configurations are all-weather, ship-launched, medium-range surface-to-air missiles in service with the U.S. Navy and several allies. A robust area air defense missile is a prerequisite for maintaining forward naval presence, operating in the littorals, and projecting and sustaining U.S. forces in distant anti-access or area-denial environments.

Each of the blocks is progressively more capable against more challenging threats and in more difficult electronic countermeasures (ECM) environments. The SM-2 is launched from the Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) found on CG 52 and above and all DDGs. It employs inertial mid-course guidance with command updates from the shipboard fire control system and an ECM-resistant monopulse receiver for semi-active radar terminal homing.

The SM-2 continues to evolve to counter expanding threat capabilities; improvements in very high and very low-altitude intercepts and in particularly stressing ECM environments are being implemented through modular changes. Block II is overage and no longer fully threat capable, and has been withdrawn from service. Block III features improved performance against low altitude threats and more fully utilizes the trajectory shaping resident within command guidance from the AEGIS weapons system. Block III comprises more than half of the active SM-2 inventory, but missile rocket motors will expire by the end of the decade.

Block IIIA features significantly enhanced performance and lethality against sea-skimming threats due to a new warhead and fuze design in addition to additional trajectory-shaping functionality. Block IIIB builds on the Block IIIA improvements by adding an infrared (IR) guidance mode capability developed in the Missile Homing Improvement Program (MHIP) to improve performance in a stressing electronic countermeasures environment. The IIIB MHIP dual-mode RF/IR guidance capability is being incorporated to counter a specific fielded and proliferating electronic warfare system in existing aircraft and cruise missile threats. Blocks IIIA/IIIB will be the heart of the SM inventory for the next fifteen years; additional improvements are under consideration to enhance IIIA/IIIB performance against the latest threats, but these improvements are of low cost and magnitude not requiring a block upgrade.

Program Status: SM-2 Block III/IIIA/IIIB missiles are currently deployed. Block IIIB is the only variant in production for the U.S. Navy, although Block IIIA is still produced for Foreign Military Sales. Block IIIBs are being produced as new All-up rounds, and as upgrades from older Block II and III missiles. Fiscal Year 1995 was the first year of production for the SM-2 Block IIIB). The SM-2 Block IIIB achieved IOC in FY 1998. The resource-constrained procurement plan is limited to 1,500 Block IIIB AUR and 1,100 upgrades, and procurement is scheduled to end in FY 2013.

Developer/Manufacturer: Raytheon, Tucson, Arizona.

RIM-67B SM-2
Standard Missile-2 Blocks IV/IVA

Photo of a SM-2 Block 4 Missile exiting the Vertical Launch Cell in a burst of flame

Description: The Navy's Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) Block IV Extended Range (ER) missile operates in conjunction with the Aegis Weapon System and Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) to provide long-range fleet area defense against aircraft and cruise missiles as well as enhanced defense against supersonic sea-skimming cruise missiles. The SM-2 Block IV is a kinematic improvement beyond the SM-2 Block IIIA/B Medium Range (MR) variants, incorporating a thrust-vector-controlled rocket booster, a more robust airframe, and guidance and control modifications for improved altitude/range/cross-range coverage against high-performance, low-radar cross-section threats in an electronic countermeasures (ECM) environment. In addition to providing significant increases in ship area defense capability, the SM-2 Block IV is the developmental stepping-stone to SM-2 Block IVA, the Navy's Area Theater Ballistic Missile Defense missile.

The SM-2 Block IVA upgrade adds a dual-mode radio frequency/infrared (RF/IR) sensor, an upgraded ordnance package, and autopilot-control enhancements to the SM-2 Block IV to provide TBM engagement capability in addition to the baseline AAW performance resident in Block IV. The SM-2 Block IVA missile uses the TBMD-modified AEGIS Weapon System on board Aegis cruisers and destroyers to track and engage TBMs. This capability is essential to protecting critical bases of operation and projecting and sustaining U.S. forces in distant anti-access or area-denial environments. SM-2 Block IVA provides the baseline for the evolutionary development of the SM-3 Navy Theater-Wide TBMD missile. (See separate program summaries for Navy Area and Theater-Wide TBMD programs.)

Program Status: The SM-2 Block IV has been delivered to the Fleet and IOC was met in August 1999. Block IV production, (160 rounds) was terminated at the end of LRIP in favor of Block IVA development.

Developer/Manufacturer: Raytheon, Tucson, Arizona.

Rolling Airframe Missile

Photo of a Rolling Airframe Missile firing from its launcher

Description: RAM is a high firepower, low-cost system designed to engage anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs) in the stressing electronic countermeasures (ECM) littoral conflict environment. RAM is a five-inch diameter surface-to-air missile with passive dual-mode radio frequency/infrared (RF/IR) guidance and an active-optical proximity and contact fuse. RAM has minimal shipboard control systems and does not require shipboard information after launch. Effective against a wide spectrum of existing threats, the RAM Block 1 IR upgrade incorporates IR "all-the-way-homing" to improve performance against evolving passive and active ASCMs.

Artists concept of a Rolling Airframe Missile RAM Missile

Program Status: RAM is installed in all five Tarawa (LHA-1)-class amphibious assault ships; seven Wasp (LHD-1)-class amphibious assault ships; eleven Spruance (DD-963)-class destroyers; seven Whidbey Island (LSD-41)-class dock landing ships; and four Harpers Ferry (LSD-49)-class dock landing ships. Block 0 missiles and launchers completed their final production run on schedule; the missile has had successful intercepts in 177 of 186 production-acceptance and ship-qualification tests. The Block 1 missile has completed the most stressing OPEVAL ever attempted aboard the Self Defense Test Ship with 23 of 24 successful firings, and has completed Developmental/Operational Testing with IOC in FY 2000.

Developer/Manufacturer: Raytheon, Tucson, Arizona; and RAMSYS, Germany.

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