The Evolved SeaSparrow (ESSM) Block 2 ship self-defense missile has moved into low-rate initial production, with the U.S. Navy expecting to place missile on track for initial operating capability in 2020, according to Raytheon Company.
According to a statement released by Raytheon, the Navy awarded the company 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.
The ESSM guided-missile project is an international consortium of 12 nations consisting of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United States. The 12 member nations are partners in engineering, development, production and sustainment of the missiles and supporting equipment. It provides self-defense battlespace and firepower against high-speed, highly maneuverable anti-ship missiles in the naval environment.
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 and is operational on almost 200 naval platforms worldwide.