US Navy: New RAM Reaches Initial Operational Capability

The U.S. Navy successfully achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the Block 2 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24) May 15.

RAM is a highly successful, 39-year U.S. cooperative program with the German government that has yielded the U.S. taxpayer more than $800 million in cost avoidance and has delivered arguably one of the most capable anti-ship cruise missile defense systems in the world. The new RAM Block 2 missile is designed to counter advanced anti-ship cruise missile threats that U.S. and Allied Navies face today.

The IOC declaration is the culmination of cooperative developmental and operational testing events between the U.S. Navy and the German government spanning the last two years. Compared to previous configurations, Block 2 provides significantly improved kinematic performance in maneuverability and range as well as a more sophisticated radio frequency receiver. These improvements allow RAM to increase the battlespace and engage low probability of intercept threats at longer ranges.

Prior to the IOC declaration, the U.S. Navy and German government successfully demonstrated the enhanced ship self-defense effectiveness of the Block 2 RAM during testing at the Pacific Missile Range Center at Point Mugu, California, between May 2013 and March 2015.

In 2014, the program had a highly successful test and evaluation run where it scored hits on several extremely challenging target sets. Currently, RAM protects the U.S Navy’s CVN, LCS, LHA, LHD, LSD and LPD 17 class warships and twenty-two of Germany’s warships.

The RAM Program Office is aligned with Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems, which manages surface ship and submarine combat technologies and systems, and coordinates Navy enterprise solutions across ship platforms.

Image: US Navy

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