Navy asks Raytheon for more Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Block 2A anti-air missiles for shipboard defense

April 13, 2021
A supersonic, lightweight, quick-reaction, fire-and-forget weapon, the RAM system is designed to attack enemy helicopters, aircraft, and surface craft.

WASHINGTON – Shipboard missile-defense experts at Raytheon Technologies Corp. will provide the U.S. Navy and U.S. allies with the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Block 2 and 2A to protect ships from incoming missiles under terms of a $130 million order announced late last month.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington are asking the Raytheon Missiles & Defense segment in Tucson, Ariz., to provide RAM Block 2 and 2A guided missile round packs, spare parts, and recertification.

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. This order combines purchases for the U.S. government, Japan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

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

Related: AN/SPY-6 family of radar systems to help defend Navy surface warships from aircraft and anti-ship missiles

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 RAM Block 2A has an even larger rocket motor, advanced control section and an enhanced RF receiver that can detect quiet threat emitters. The improvements make the missile two and a half times more maneuverable than its predecessor, with one and a half times the effective intercept range.

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.

Related: Raytheon to upgrade and overhaul computer-controlled radar-guided shipboard weapons in $109.6 million order

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 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 LFK, DBD, and RAMSYS.

Related: DRS Laurel to build 59 more AN/SPQ-9B shipboard missile-defense radar systems for cruisers and destroyers

This contract, which has options that could increase its value to $529.8 million combines purchases for the Navy and the governments of Qatar, Egypt, and Turkey.

Raytheon and its partners will do the work in Ottobrunn, Germany; Tucson, Ariz.; Rocket Center, W.Va.; Dallas; Mason and Cincinnati, Ohio; Glenrothes, Scotland; Cincinnati; Andover, Mass.; and other U.S. locations, and should be finished by March 2024.

For more information contact Raytheon Missiles & Defense online at, or Naval Sea Systems Command at

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