RIM-162 ESSM Missile: Naval Anti-Air in a Quad Pack
March 20/19: Block 2 The Naval Sea Systems Command tapped Raytheon Missile Systems with a $97.8 million modification to obtain materials needed for fiscal 2019 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) Block 2 low-rate initial requirements. The ESSM is a medium-range, surface-to-air missile that is currently in service with the US Navy and some of the 12 NATO Sea Sparrow consortium nations. Consortium members include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Turkey and the US. The missile is equipped with a tail-control system to obtain high speed and maneuverability. It can operate in all weather conditions and has a length of about 3.64m, diameter of 254mm and a weight of 280kg. The Evolved SEASPARROW Missile program is an international cooperative effort to design, develop, test, and procure ESSM missiles. Work will take place in Canada, Germany, Australia, Spain, Netherlands, Mexico, Greece, Denmark, Turkey, Portugal as well as various sites within the US and is scheduled to be finished by March 2023.
The RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) is used to protect ships from attacking missiles and aircraft, and is designed to counter supersonic maneuvering anti-ship missiles. Compared to the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow, ESSM is effectively a new missile with a larger, more powerful rocket motor for increased range, a different aerodynamic layout for improved agility, and the latest missile guidance technology. Testing has even shown the ESSM to be effective against fast surface craft, an option that greatly expands the missile’s utility. As a further bonus, the RIM-162 ESSM has the ability to be “quad-packed” in the Mk 41 vertical launching system, allowing 4 missiles to be carried per launch cell instead of loading one larger SM-2 Standard missile or similar equipment.
This is DID’s FOCUS article for the program, containing details about the RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missile family, and contracts placed under this program since 1999. The Sea Sparrow was widely used aboard NATO warships, so it isn’t surprising that the ESSM is an international program. The NATO Sea Sparrow Consortium includes Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and the USA – as well as non-NATO Australia. Foreign Military Sales ESSM customers outside this consortium include Japan, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates.
ESSM: The Missiles
More Than An Upgrade
ESSM Program: The USA, and Beyond
ESSM-Related Contracts & Key Events
FY 2014 – 2015
FY 2002 – 2005
FY 2002 and earlier
Additional Readings & Sources
Fill in the secure form below to activate your subscription right away (or pick another plan)