The US Navy in August conducted the first launch of a Raytheon RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Block 1A from a SeaRAM Anti-Ship Missile Defense System during a live-fire exercise at the Naval Air Warfare (Navair) Center Weapons Division sea range, Point Magu, California.
During the exercise, the SeaRAM weapon system on Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) detected, tracked and engaged an inbound threat target, and fired a RAM Block 1A that successfully intercepted the target. The live-fire exercise was also designed to provide information to reduce risk in future combat and certification exercises for the LCS.
‘‘This test success marks a major milestone towards full operation and employment of the SeaRAM system on US Navy ships,’’ said Rick Nelson, vice president of Naval Area and Mission Defense product line at Raytheon Missile Systems (Stand S9-230).
Designed to extend the inner-layer battlespace and enable a ship to effectively engage multiple manoeuvring supersonic and subsonic threats, SeaRAM is a spiral development of key elements of the Phalanx close-in weapon system and the RAM guided weapon system.
An 11-round RAM launcher assembly replaces the Phalanx’s 20mm gun, but retains the Phalanx Block 1B’s high-resolution search-and-track sensor systems and quick-response capability.
SeaRAM matches the above-deck footprint of the Phalanx, uses the same power, and requires minimal shipboard integration modification.