- The Direct Commercial Sale contract marks the first sale of the RAM Block 2 in the Middle East region
- The missiles will equip the UAE Naval Forces' six Baynunah-class corvettes, plus two new Project Arialah offshore patrol vessels due for delivery to CICPA
Raytheon Missile Systems is to supply the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the latest Block 2 version of the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) quick-reaction, ship self-defence weapon system under a multi-million-dollar Direct Commercial Sale (DCS) contract announced at IDEX 2017.
The missiles will equip UAE Naval Forces' six Baynunah-class corvettes, plus two new Project Arialah offshore patrol vessels due for delivery to the UAE Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority (CICPA) later this year.
An evolutionary development of the RIM-116B RAM Block 1 missile, the RIM-116C RAM Block 2 embodies kinematic and sensor upgrades to expand the missile's engagement envelope in order to defeat more manoeuvrable and higher speed anti-ship cruise missiles. Raytheon Missile Systems and the RAM-System GmbH consortium of Diehl BGT and MBDA Deutschland GmbH in Germany are prime contractors and co-operating partners for the RAM programme.
RAM uses dual-mode (passive radio frequency [RF]/infrared [IR]) guidance in a lock-on after launch mode. The Block 2 upgrade significantly expands the missile's effective engagement envelope by introducing a larger dual-thrust rocket motor and independent four-canard control actuator system to increase effective range by about 50% and deliver a three-fold improvement in manoeuvrability. It also incorporates an enhanced passive RF seeker, a digital autopilot and engineering changes to resolve obsolescence in selected IR seeker components.
The RAM Block 2 entered US Navy service in May 2015. Germany and Japan have also ordered the Block 2 missile.
The UAE contract, signed in the latter part of 2016, marks the first DCS sale for the RAM Block 2.
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