The U.S. Navy has achieved initial operational capability (IOC) with the Rolling Airframe Missile Block 2 produced by Raytheon Company. RAM Block 2 is a significant performance upgrade that features enhanced kinematics, an evolved radio frequency receiver, and an improved control system.
"RAM Block 2 provides the accuracy and lethality our sailors need to combat growing regional threats," said Captain Craig Bowden, Major Program Manager for Rolling Airframe Missile, U.S. Navy Integrated Warfare Systems 3B program office. "IOC signals that the U.S. Navy is pacing the threat and ensuring the safety and security of our sailors and ships so they can operate wherever required."
By achieving IOC, the U.S. Navy can employ the RAM Block 2 missile onboard deploying ships, significantly enhancing their self-defense capability against anti-ship missiles. The IOC declaration follows RAM Block 2's delivery to the U.S. Navy last July, continuing more than eight years of on-time deliveries and culminating years of planning and coordinated effort by industry and the U.S. Navy.
IOC follows extensive maritime testing that began in 2013 demonstrating RAM Block 2's ability to counter the latest generation of anti-ship cruise missiles. During at-sea testing, RAM Block 2 missiles successfully defeated supersonic and subsonic maneuvering targets in scenarios that highlighted the advanced missile's defensive capabilities.
Last year, the program had a highly successful test and evaluation run scoring hits on several extremely challenging target sets, including a two-for-two defeat against a supersonic maneuvering raid – a first from a shipboard firing.
"RAM has been protecting naval ships for three decades, and the enhanced Block 2 variant enables vital defense of our warfighters far into the future," said Rick Nelson, vice president of Naval Area and Mission Defense for Raytheon Missile Systems. "The U.S. Navy's declaration of IOC is an important accomplishment that shows RAM Block 2 is ideally suited to protect against the full range of threats on a variety of platforms."
RAM is a cooperative program between the U.S. and German governments with industry support from Raytheon and RAMSYS of Germany.