Raytheon has been awarded two contracts for for long lead material for the production of the Evolved SeaSparrow Missile, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a Friday, December 14 release.
The Evolved SeaSparrow Missile is used for air defense, to protect ships from both aircraft and missiles, in particular to counter supersonic anti-ship missiles.
ESSM Block 1 for Saudi Arabia
Raytheon was awarded a $24,717,120 cost-only contract (N00024-19-C-5410) that includes foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia for long lead material in support of ESSM Block 1 production and spares requirements, the release said.
Work will be performed in Norway, Canada and Australia, and is expected to be complete by December 2021.
The sale of 532 ESSMs to Saudi Arabia was approved by the U.S. State Department in 2015 as part of a sale of four Multi-Mission Surface Combatant Ships based on the Freedom variant of the U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ship.
ESSM Block 2 contract
Raytheon was also awarded a $32,162,533 cost-only contract (N00024-19-C-5418) for long lead material for ESSM Block 2 low-rate initial production requirements.
This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy (43 percent), and for Canada, Australia, Germany, Norway, Turkey, the Netherlands, and Denmark under the NATO Sea Sparrow Consortium, the release said.
Similarly, work will be performed in Norway, Canada and Australia, and is expected to be complete by December 2022.
Raytheon was awarded a $77 million contract in May to transition ESSM Block 2 missile engineering, manufacturing and development to low-rate manufacturing, fabricating and production.
The ESSM is a medium-range missile that uses datalinks for midcourse guidance and semi-active radar for terminal guidance. It is designed to defend against high-speed, low-altitude anti-ship cruise missiles, low velocity air threats like helicopters, and high-speed surface threats.
The Block 2 missile is expected to include both semi-active and active guidance systems, to reduce the missile’s dependence on the launch ship. It was successfully tested for the first time in July 2018.
The RIM-162 ESSM was developed from the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missile. The first production ESSM was delivered in 2002, and the missile has been operational use in the U.S. Navy since 2004.
ESSM consortium member nations include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the U.S.
Other ESSM users include Japan, the United Arab Emirates, and Thailand. The U.S. earlier in 2018 approved ESSM sales to Finland for use on its Squadron 2020 class corvettes and Mexico for its new Sigma-class ships.