Navy orders infrared-guided RAM missile systems to protect surface ships

April 1, 2019

WASHINGTON — Shipboard missile-defense experts at the Raytheon Co. will provide the U.S. Navy and U.S. allies with the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Block 2 to protect ships from aircraft, missiles, and small surface vessels under terms of a $91.1 million order.

RAM is a ship self-defense weapon designed to protect ships of all sizes, ranging from 500-ton fast attack craft to 95,000-ton aircraft carriers.

A supersonic, lightweight, quick-reaction, fire-and-forget weapon, the RAM missile system is designed to attack enemy helicopters, aircraft, and surface craft. It uses passive RF and infrared guidance for engaging several threats simultaneously.

RAM Block 2 has a large rocket motor, advanced control section, and an enhanced RF receiver able to detect quiet threat emitters. It is more maneuverable and longer range than its predecessors.

The Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Block 2, shown above, homes-in on its targets with infrared sensors.

The MK 44 guided missile round pack and the MK 49 guided missile launching system together hold 21 missiles. Existing shipboard sensors can provide the system with target and pointing information.

The MK 44 missile also part of the SeaRAM anti-ship missile defense system, replacing the M601A1 Gatling gun in the Phalanx close-in weapon system with an 11-round launcher.

The Phalanx system’s infrared sensor suite and internal combat management system reduces its dependence on the ship’s combat system and enables a fast reaction.

The RAM is an international cooperative program between the U.S. and Germany. Raytheon shares development, production and maintenance with the German companies MBDA Missile Systems in Schrobenhausen, Germany; Diehl BGT Defence (DBD) in Überlingen, Germany; and RAM-System GmbH (RAMSYS) in Ottobrunn, Germany.

For more information contact Raytheon Missile Systems online at, or Naval Sea Systems Command at

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