Raytheon awarded $242 million Rolling Airframe Missile contract

Raytheon has been awarded a $242 million contract for Rolling Airframe Missile guided missile round packs for the U.S. Navy, Qatar, Egypt, and Turkey, a U.S. Department of Defense release said.

The $242,090,000 firm-fixed-price contract for “Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Block 2 guided missile round pack, missile ordnance alterations, and spares,” combines purchases for the U.S. Navy and the governments of Qatar, Egypt, and Turkey the Thursday, May 10 release said.

The foreign military sales portion makes up 56.5 percent of the total value.

It includes options which – if exercised – could bring the cumulative value to $529,774,921.

Work under the contract, including the options, is expected to be completed by September 2023.

The RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile is a small, infrared-homing surface-to-air missile designed for naval use to defend against anti-ship cruise missiles.

The guided missile round pack consists of the Rolling Airframe Missile and launching canister.

Based on the AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile, the RAM initially homes in on radiation such as radar emitted from a target and then switches to an infrared seeker for terminal guidance.

The original (Block 0) weapon cannot use its own sensors prior to firing and must be integrated with a ship’s combat system to direct the launcher. Block I added an overall infrared-only guidance system, and Block II missiles are an upgraded, more maneuverable version with an improved passive radio frequency seeker and upgraded infrared seeker.

RAM system improvement program

In a separate contract, Raytheon was awarded $7,471,077 for “design agent and engineering support services for the Rolling Airframe Missile upgraded Mk-31 Guided Missile Weapon System Improvement program.”

Rolling Airframe Missile guided missile round packs, together with the Mk-49 Guided Missile Launching System (GMLS) and support equipment, make up the Mk-31 Guided Missile Weapon System (GMWS).

The Mk-49 GMLS holds 21 missiles.

Mk-31 Rolling Airframe Missile Launcher
The amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) fires its Mk-31 Rolling Airframe Missile Launcher, August 5, 2014. Image: US Navy/Fire Controlman 2nd Class Jayce P. MacDonald

The release said this support is required to maintain current weapon system capability, as well as to “resolve issues through design, systems, software maintenance, reliability, maintainability, quality assurance and logistics engineering services.”

The Mk-31 system is a cooperative development and production program conducted by the U.S and Germany. Work under this contract will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be completed by September 2019.

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