Raytheon Missile Systems (Stand 03-B07) is continuing to deliver the latest Block 2 version of the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) ship self-defence weapon system to the United Arab Emirates. The new missiles equip the two new Project Arialah offshore patrol vessels operated by the UAE Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority (CICPA). They will also be rolled out to equip the UAE Naval Forces' six Baynunah-class corvettes, which already use the Block 1 version of the RAM missile.
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 per cent 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.
RAM Block 2 entered US Navy service in May 2015. The UAE contract, signed in the latter part of 2016, marked the first direct commercial sale for RAM Block 2. The full scope of supply covers an undisclosed number of RIM- 116C missile rounds, associated equipment, training and support.
CICPA's Project Arialah vessels are each fitted with a single Mk 49 Mod 2 11-cell launcher amidships (pictured), while the navy's Baynunah-class corvettes are fitted with a Mk 49 Mod 3 21-cell RAM launcher atop the hangar.
Raytheon believes there will be additional opportunities for RAM Block 2 in the UAE market.