Raytheon is helping countries make the most of their defense funds by finding ways to use the same launcher for missiles of varying ranges.
On Monday the company announced that Norway successfully fired the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) from a National Advanced Surface-to-Air-Missile System (NASAMS) launcher. It’s the third kind of Raytheon missile that can be fired from NASAMS, the same system that protects the Washington, D.C. area.
Raytheon is also bringing new capabilities to the Hawk missile system. A recent test combined the Hawk XXI radar with the NASAMS launcher to fire the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile. The capability provides a path for the 17 countries using the Hawk to modernize their arsenals.
“These countries are trying to figure out how to improve their defenses, and we’re trying to offer affordable ways to go do that,” said Tim Glaeser, a vice president at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems.
The same Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile that has been successfully used for naval air defense can now be ground-launched, Glaeser said.
In addition to the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, the NASAMS launcher can fire the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM, and the AIM-9X, the latest version of Raytheon’s famous Sidewinder.
By firing different kinds of missiles “we improve the capability, we lower the cost, we increase the operational flexibility of the NASAMS weapon system,” Glaeser told reporters at the Farnborough International Airshow on Monday. Glaeser leads business development and strategy for air and missile defense at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems.
He showed a video of the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile bursting from its launcher against a backdrop of snow-covered hills in Norway’s Andoya Rocket Range, above the Arctic Circle. The missile was fired in June by the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
Raytheon has also been focusing on ways to help countries pool their air and missile-defense resources. On Monday it unveiled a new analysis tool that can tell European nations where to position their sensors and interceptors for maximum effect.
“In these fiscally challenging times, we must make ‘Smart Defense’ investments using our limited resources,” said Wes Kremer, vice president of Air and Missile Defense Systems for Raytheon Missile Systems.
During the recent NASAMS test, the Royal Norwegian Air Force used the an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile to destroy an air target at Norway’s Andoya Rocket Range.
Norway has used the NASAMS canister launcher for more than a decade. Last year it signed a contract with Raytheon for High-Mobility Launchers, lightweight vehicles that carry the launcher and up to six AMRAAM missiles.
The system quickly identifies and destroys aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles and other threats. It provides cover for maneuvering forces, protects cities and defends high-value assets.
Raytheon developed NASAMS with its Norwegian partner, KONGSBERG Defence and Aerospace. NASAMS launchers are deployed in Norway, Spain and the Netherlands in addition to the greater Washington area.
The Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile is also an international effort, with 18 industrial partners from 10 nations helping to build the missile. That makes it the most international missile manufacturing program in the world.
The Hawk is a widely used surface-to-air missile system, with 400 firing systems and more than 19,000 missiles deployed worldwide. The system has recorded 40 combat kills. The latest version of the system is the Hawk XXI.