Raytheon, US Navy Complete First Phase of RAM Block 2 Developmental Testing

By on Monday, June 3rd, 2013


The U.S. Navy completed the first series of developmental and operational testing (DT/OT) of Raytheon Company’s Rolling Airframe Missile Block 2.

In at-sea tests conducted from the U.S. Navy’s Self-Defense Test Ship, RAM Block 2 missiles engaged two targets in tactical dual-salvo scenarios designed to demonstrate the advanced missile’s defensive capabilities. The DT/OT tests successfully engaged high-speed, maneuvering and sub-sonic, maneuvering targets with all four RAM Block 2 missiles meeting test objectives.

“RAM Block 2′s success in these developmental tests follows the completion of a series of guidance test vehicle flight tests,” said Rick Nelson, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems’ Naval and Area Mission Defense product line. “RAM Block 2′s increased kinematic capability and its advanced guidance system will continue to give the warfighter an unfair advantage in the fight.”

Raytheon and its manufacturing partner RAMSYS of Germany were awarded the second U.S. Navy RAM Block 2 low-rate production contact for 61 missiles in December 2012. In addition, as previously reported, the company received a $155.6 million Block 2 production contract for the German navy earlier this year.

The RAM Block 2 upgrade includes a four-axis independent control actuator system and an increase in rocket motor capability, increasing the missile’s effective range and delivering a significant increase in maneuverability. The improved missile also incorporates an upgraded passive radio frequency seeker, a digital autopilot and engineering changes in selected infrared seeker components.

RAM is a supersonic, lightweight, quick reaction, fire-and-forget missile providing defense against anti-ship cruise missiles, helicopter and airborne threats, and hostile surface craft. The missile’s autonomous dual-mode, passive radio frequency and infrared guidance design provide a high-firepower capability for engaging multiple threats simultaneously. RAM is installed, or planned for installation, aboard more than 165 ships as an integral self-defense weapon for the navies of Egypt, Germany, Greece, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

  • Extremely high reliability resulting from years of development, testing and design improvements.
  • Four-axis independent control actuator system with increased rocket motor capability.
  • Upgraded passive radio frequency seeker, a digital autopilot and improved infrared seeker.

Raytheon Company, with 2012 sales of $24 billion and 68,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass.


USA to approve V-22 sale to Israel

The USA is about to approve the sale of Bell Boeing V-22 tiltrotor transport aircraft and Boeing KC-135 tankers to Israel, according to industry sources, who indicate that the proposed deals are part of a larger package of agreements which also concern the planned sale of advanced weapon systems to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The wide-ranging deals are designed “not just to boost Israel’s capabilities, but also to boost the capabilities of our Persian Gulf partners so they, too, would be able to address the Iranian threat,” says one US source. New equipment will “also provide a greater network of coordinated assets around the region to handle a range of contingencies,” the official adds.

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will visit Israel and Middle East region next week, when sources suggest the deals are due to be finalised.



Israeli air force magazine

The Israeli air force has evaluated the V-22 through numerous test flights performed in the USA, with the service having recommended purchasing an undisclosed number of the type for use during special operations.

Also expected to be contained within a deal are KC-135 tankers, which sources expect to replace the converted Boeing 707s currently used by the Israeli air force for inflight refuelling.

MROAM: USAF breaks up P&W monopoly on C-17 engine services

Pratt & Whitney says it accepts a US Air Force decision to break up the company’s 18-year grip on sustainment services for the engines that power the global fleet of Boeing C-17A airlifters.

The USAF has issued a request for proposals seeking competitive bids for a contract to manage the supply chain for the F117, which is the military derivative of the PW2000 turbofan that P&W supplies for the four-engined strategic transport.

P&W has managed all F117 sustainment services since 1995 under a performance-based logistics (PBL) deal that ties fees and payments to meeting certain performance criteria, such as time-on-wing. However, the USAF is now moving to a conventional maintenance services deal.

“There’s been encouragement from Congress to have a competition,” says Bennett Croswell, president of P&W military engines. “It’s really hard from [the USAF] to have a PBL and compete it because no one else has the full intellectual property that we do to be really effective in a PBL. So I can understand that they’re doing what they’re doing.”

At the same time, Croswell says P&W is proud of its performance under the PBL contract, which included a 60% reduction in engine removals since 2008 and a seven-fold increase in time-on-wing since 1995.

P&W now must compete for the new F117 supply chain management contract against several new bidders.

“It will be more of a transactional contract,” Croswell says. “This will inform that debate [about the value of PBLs] because we’re going away from a PBL and now we’ll see how a transactional approach to maintaining this engine, will that cost more or less?”

The competition required P&W and the USAF to reach an agreement on access to some of the company’s intellectual property (IP) on the F117 installed base. P&W will provide the bidders with the same data that it supplies to commercial airlines that operate the PW2000 engine, Croswell says.

“There was an IP discussion and issue for a while, but I think we’ve gotten around that,” he says.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database records the current global C-17 fleet as totalling 251 aircraft, with these flown by the air forces of Australia, Canada, India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and the USA, plus a consortium of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.