ESSM Block II successfully intercepts target in test

10 July 2018

The Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) Block II successfully intercepted a BQM-74E aerial target during a recent flight test, the US Navy (USN) has confirmed.

The test, conducted by the NATO Seasparrow Project Office, was the first ESSM flight test to use the new Block II active guidance seeker head, the USN said on 5 July.

ESSM Block II will employ both semi-active and active guidance to meet current and anticipated future threats.

As noted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS’) Missile Defense Project, the active guidance system will reduce the ESSM’s dependence on ship-based illuminator guidance systems, such as the USN’s SPG-62 radar, to bounce electromagnetic signals off targets to provide terminal guidance for the interceptor.

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