An extra layer of defense
Raytheon technologies help protect UAE Navy ships and crew
The Rolling Airframe Missile launcher moves fast. It has to.
If a ship carrying the RAM is attacked by a missile, aircraft or other surface craft, the launcher abruptly rotates and locks on a target. A cap pops off and hits the deck; a RAM missile hurls into flight to knock down the imminent danger.
Raytheon has teamed with Abu Dhabi Ship Building, the United Arab Emirates Navy’s prime provider of maritime logistics support, for more than a decade. They've installed RAM missiles and launchers, as well as Evolved Seasparrow Missiles, onto the UAE’s Baynunah-class corvettes and other ships.
The RAM weapon system and ESSM missile provide the UAE with overlapping defenses that protect ships and crew members. As the outer ring of defense for the UAE Navy, the ESSM missile provides intermediate-range protection against cruise missiles, helicopters and other ships.
“An adversary committing a hostile act against a ship equipped with RAM will soon learn of their mistake,” said Gerard Hueber, vice president of business development for Raytheon's Strategic and Naval Systems.
The supersonic, quick-reaction RAM missile system uses active infrared seekers against weapons or craft that are launched from a short range and travel at tremendous speeds.
“As anti-ship threats continue to evolve, the RAM missile is...designed to counter them,” Hueber said.
The RAM missile is deployed in 11 countries, on more than 165 navy ships, ranging from 500-ton fast attack craft to corvettes, the world’s smallest warships. This missile's Block 1A and Block 2 variants may be fired from 11- or 21-round RAM launchers.
Raytheon's Block 2 variant, the latest evolutionary stage of the RAM missile, features a rocket motor that is larger than the ones on its predecessors, advanced guidance and control and an enhanced radio frequency receiver that allows it to engage multiple perils simultaneously.
“The launchers are ideal for vessels with limited deck space, providing these navies a fire-and-forget missile and a high volume of firepower,” said Justin Jenia, Raytheon’s RAM missile program director.
The RAM system is of particular interest in the Arabian Gulf region, where states are investing in offshore patrol vessels to protect their coasts and contribute to regional stability. Guarding this investment is crucial.
“Protecting the mission is paramount and necessary to maintain sea control,” Hueber said.