The Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Guided Missile Weapon System is the world's most modern ship self-defense weapon.
There are well over 100 000 anti-ship missiles in the world's inventory today, posing a serious threat to all naval vessels. Assured destruction of a large raid is the only means to ensure ship survival. The Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Guided Missile Weapon System is the world's most modern ship self-defense weapon, and has been specifically designed to provide exceptional protection for ships of all sizes. RAM is currently installed, or planned for installation, on over 80 U.S. Navy and 28 German Navy ships.
RAM is a supersonic, light-weight, quick-reaction, fire-and-forget missile designed to destroy antiship missiles. Its autonomous dual-mode passive RF and IR guidance design, requiring no shipboard support after missile launch, uniquely provides high-firepower capability for engaging multiple threats simultaneously.
The MK 44 Guided Missile Round Pack, coupled with the 21-cell MK 49 Guided Missile Launching System, comprise the MK 31 Guided Missile Weapon System. The weapon system has been designed for flexibility in ships' integration, with no dedicated sensors required. A wide variety of existing ship sensors can readily provide the target and pointing information required to engage the antiship threat.
The RAM missile has been fired in over 150 flight tests to date, resulting in a success rate of greater than 95 percent. This extremely high reliability is the culmination of years of development, testing, and design improvements.
RAM Block 1
RAM has evolved in order to counter the anticipated non-RF-radiating anti-ship cruise missiles of the future. The RAM Block 1 missile has been designed to defeat tomorrow's threat. While retaining the existing RF-to-IR guidance modes of the Block 0 RAM, Block 1 incorporates a new image-scanning seeker with the added capability of autonomous IR-all-the-way guidance, thus countering advanced anti-ship missiles which do not employ on-board radar seekers. This new seeker also allows increased capability against crossing targets and the ability to engage fixed and rotary-winged aircraft. Enhanced digital signal processing further provides increased resistance to countermeasures, as well as superior performance in severe IR background conditions.
The RAM Block 1 missile has successfully completed Navy Operational testing, engaging real-world and surrogate anti-ship missiles. Having demonstrated operational suitability and effectiveness in these stringent tests, RAM Block 1 is now in full-rate production. Helicopter, Aircraft, and Surface (HAS) Capability Raytheon is under contract to provide a software upgrade to Block 1 RAM in order to engage helicopters, aircraft, and surface targets. RAM Block 1's inherent IR seeker design and performance characteristics enable it to engage these targets via missile software enhancements, requiring no hardware modifications. The capability to counter this expanded target set will be available for the fleets in 2002. Concurrent with this design effort, an 11-round launcher system is also being developed for smaller ships and other vessels which have weight constraints.