Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Germany buys RIM-116 Block 2 Rolling Airframe Missiles

The Germany Navy has awarded a $155.6 million contract to Raytheon for Block 2 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM). It is the largest ever RAM contract so far by Germany.

The RIM-116 RAM is a missile-based, Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) developed by the United States and Germany. Its specifications are:
  • a length of 2.79 m
  • a diameter of 127 mm
  • a wingspan of 434 mm
  • a speed of Mach 2.0+
  • a warhead of 11.3 kg
  • a weight of 73.5 kg
  • a range of 9 km
The RIM-116 RAM is guided by a dual passive radio frequency and infrared homing seeker.

The RAM Mk 31 Guided Missile Weapon System (GMWS) consists of the Mk 44 Guided Missile Round Pack (GMRP) and the Mk 49 Guided Missile Launching System (GMLS) with 21 missiles.

The RAM is designed to be flexible in integration with existing platforms and requires no dedicated sensors. All targeting information is provided by various external sensors already fitted on the ship.

The Block 2 RAM is the latest version featuring several upgrades, including:
  • a four-axis independent control actuator system
  • an increase in rocket motor capability
  • double the missile's effective range
  • three times increase in maneuverability
  • an upgraded passive radio frequency seeker
  • can detect Low Probability of Intercept anti-ship missiles
  • a digital autopilot
The fire-and-forget RAM can defend against both supersonic and subsonic missiles and other aerial threats.

One variant of the Rolling Airframe Missile currently under development is the SeaRAM. The SeaRAM replaces the M601A1 Gatling gun in the Phalanx CIWS with an 11-round launcher.

The SeaRAM is fitted with the sensors of the Phalanx CIWS to create an autonomous system, eliminating the need for external targeting information as in the original RAM.


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