RAM Guided Missile Weapon System Is World's Most Modern Ship Defense Weapon
There are more than 100,000 anti-ship missiles in the world's inventories today, posing a serious threat to all naval vessels. Assured destruction of a large stream raid is the only means to ensure ship survival.
The Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Guided Missile Weapon System is the world's most modern ship self-defense weapon and has been specifically designed to provide exceptional protection for ships of all sizes. RAM is currently deployed on more than 165 ships in seven fleets, ranging from 95,000-ton aircraft carriers to 500-ton fast attack craft. Licensed production of the RAM Guided Missile Round Pack (GMRP) is under way in Korea.
RAM is a supersonic, lightweight, quick-reaction, fire-and-forget missile designed to destroy anti-ship missiles. Its autonomous dual-mode passive radio frequency and infrared guidance design, requiring no shipboard support after missile launch, uniquely provide high-firepower capability for engaging multiple threats simultaneously.
The MK 44 GMRP and the MK 49 Guided Missile Launching System, which holds 21 missiles, comprise the MK 31 Guided Missile Weapon System. The system has been designed for flexibility in ships' integration, with no dedicated sensors required. A variety of existing ship sensors can readily provide the target and pointing information required to engage the anti-ship threat.
RAM is an international cooperative program between the United States and Germany. The countries share in the cost of developing and maintaining the system. Development and production work is shared between Raytheon in the U.S. and the German companies LFK, DBD and RAMSYS.
The Rolling Airframe Missile has been fired in more than 300 flight tests to date, resulting in a success rate of 95 percent. This extremely high reliability is the culmination of years of development, testing and design improvements.
The MK 44 is also the missile used in the SeaRAM weapon system, replacing the M601A1 Gatling gun in the Phalanx weapon system with an 11-round launcher. The Phalanx sensor suite serves as the search and track radar designating the threat for the RAM missile to intercept.
RAM Block 1/1A
RAM has been continually improved to stay ahead of the ever-evolving threat of anti-ship missiles, helicopters, aircraft and surface craft. RAM Block 1 incorporated a new image-scanning seeker with the added capability of autonomous IR all-the-way guidance, thus countering advanced anti-ship missiles that do not employ on-board radar seekers. Enhanced digital signal processing further provides increased resistance to countermeasures and superior performance in severe IR background conditions. An advanced optical target detection device is incorporated to detect very low sea-skimming threats.
The Block 1A configuration incorporated additional signal processing capabilities to defeat helicopters, aircraft and surface craft. Block 1A is in rate production for the Consortium countries and the other countries procuring RAM.
RAM Block 2
Block 2, the next step in the spiral development of the Rolling Airframe Missile, is a kinematic and RF receiver upgrade. A larger, more powerful rocket motor and advanced control section make the missile three times more maneuverable with twice the effective intercept range. This provides the Block 2 missile with the capability to defeat high-maneuver threats as well as the ability to intercept crossing threats. An enhanced RF receiver allows detection of anti-ship missiles that employ low probability of intercept radars.