Raytheon to Upgrade Sea Sparrow Missiles for US Navy, Allies

American defense manufacturer Raytheon Technologies has been awarded a $55 million contract to upgrade the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile used by the US Navy and allied nations.

A US Department of Defense press release stipulates that the company provide engineering and technical services to support weapon system modification. The contract also includes Sea Sparrow upgrades for the armed forces of Japan and the United Arab Emirates.

The majority of work for the program will be performed in Arizona, while other modification services will be performed in Massachusetts, California, Spain, Australia, and Greece.

Work is expected to be complete by December 2022.

The Sea Sparrow Missiles

An upgrade to the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow Missile, the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile is a medium-range surface-to-air interceptor capable of defending navy vessels and other military assets from high-speed anti-ship cruise missiles and low-velocity aerial threats such as drones and helicopters.

The weapon system is equipped with a state-of-the-art tail-control system, enabling increased speed and maneuverability.

With a weight of 280 kilograms (617 pounds), the missile can be loaded on an MK-41 VLS shipborne launching system or MK-29 trainable launcher. It is designed to operate in all weather conditions.

The Sea Sparrow is powered by a dual-propellant propulsion system, allowing the weapon to travel at a maximum speed of Mach 4 and a range of more than 50 kilometers (31 miles).

The weapon’s design makes it suitable for integration with other weapon systems, including the Aegis weapon system, Flexfire weapon control system, ship self-defense system, and APAR combat systems.

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