Navy asks Raytheon to build Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Block 2 and 2B anti-air shipboard missiles

Sept. 14, 2022
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.

WASHINGTON – Shipboard missile-defense experts at Raytheon Technologies Corp. will provide the U.S. Navy and the Japanese military with the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Block 2 and 2B to protect ships from incoming missiles under terms of a $39.3 million order announced Friday.

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 2B 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.

The supersonic, lightweight, quick-reaction, fire-and-forget anti-air 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: Navy asks Raytheon to build assemblies for RIM-162 ESSM radar-guided anti-aircraft shipboard 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 RAM Block 2B upgrade will introduce an upgraded seeker and missile-to-missile link capability.

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.

Related: Lockheed Martin to build shipboard Aegis air defense and radar systems for Navy cruisers and destroyers

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.

Raytheon and its partners will do the work in Ottobrunn, Germany; Tucson, Ariz; Glenrothes Fife, Scotland; Keyser, W.Va.; Bedford, N.H.; and other locations, and should be finished by January 2026. For more information contact Raytheon Missiles & Defense online at, or Naval Sea Systems Command at

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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