Raytheon begins production of ESSM Block 2 missiles

Photo: Raytheon

The US Navy has awarded Raytheon a $190 million low-rate initial production contract for ESSM Block 2 missiles featuring a new guidance system with a dual mode active and semi-active radar.

This award follows the navy’s decision to shift from development to production on the enhanced intermediate-range, surface-to-air missile, placing the Block 2 variant on track for initial operating capability in 2020.

The ESSM missile is the primary ship self-defense missile aboard navy aircraft carriers and large deck amphibious assault ships. It is an integral component of the navy’s layered area and ship self-defense capability for cruisers and destroyers.

“ESSM plays a critical role in protecting navy sailors worldwide and our international partners share our commitment to evolve this missile,” said Dr. Mitch Stevison, Raytheon Strategic and Naval Systems vice president.

ESSM is the foundation of several allied navies’ anti-ship missile defense efforts. The ESSM program is a cooperative effort managed by a NATO-led consortium comprising 12 nations: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United States.

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