The US Navy has awarded Raytheon a $190 million low-rate initial production contract for ESSM Block 2 missiles featuring a new guidance system with a dual mode active and semi-active radar.

This award follows the US Navy’s decision to shift from development to production on the enhanced intermediate-range, surface-to-air missile, placing the Block 2 variant on track for initial operating capability in 2020.

“The ESSM missile is the primary ship self-defense missile aboard Navy aircraft carriers and large deck amphibious assault ships. It is an integral component of the Navy’s layered area and ship self-defense capability for cruisers and destroyers”, say the firm.

“ESSM plays a critical role in protecting navy sailors worldwide and our international partners share our commitment to evolve this missile,” said Dr. Mitch Stevison, Raytheon Strategic and Naval Systems vice president.

ESSM is the foundation of several allied navies’ anti-ship missile defense efforts and is operational on almost 200 naval platforms worldwide.

The ESSM program is a cooperative effort managed by a NATO-led consortium comprising 12 nations:

AustraliaBelgiumCanadaDenmarkGermanyGreeceThe NetherlandsNorwayPortugalSpainTurkey and the United States.

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Active radar seeker; like Aster and Camm. Is this a case of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery?


More like a planned upgrade just like the SM-2 family of missiles and now the SM-6.


It will be interesting to see how Camm competes against it. With its ability to cold launch it should be cheaper to fit Camm on smaller corvettes so hopefully it will find a few more buyers this week.