NWI - Naval Warfare

USN awards LRIP contract for ESSM weapons

27th August 2019 - 08:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The US Navy has awarded Raytheon a $190 million low-rate initial production contract for Block 2 versions of the Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM). 

Block 2 ESSMs include a new guidance system with a dual mode active and semi-active radar, and this new award represents the transition from the development to the production phase of the navy’s enhanced intermediate-range, surface-to-air missile programme.

The Block 2 variant is due to achieve initial operating capability in 2020, and ESSM is the primary self-defence missile aboard navy aircraft carriers and large deck amphibious assault ships.

‘ESSM plays a critical role in protecting navy sailors worldwide and our international partners share our commitment to evolve this missile,’ Mitch Stevison, Raytheon’s strategic and naval systems vice president, said.

ESSM is also used by other allied navies of the US, and is operational on almost 200 naval platforms worldwide.

The ESSM programme is a cooperative effort managed by a NATO-led consortium comprising 12 nations, namely: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United States.

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