Surface Vessel Weapon System
RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM)
RIM-162 ESSM was developed by the U.S. Navy in cooperation with an
international consortium of other NATO partners plus Australia. ESSM
is a short-range, semi-active homing missile that makes flight
corrections via radar and midcourse data uplinks. The missile
provides reliable ship self-defense capability against agile,
high-speed, low-altitude anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs), low
velocity air threats (LVATs), such as helicopters, and high-speed,
maneuverable surface threats. ESSM is integrated with a variety of
U.S. and international launchers and combat systems across more than
10 different navies.
ESSM has an 8-inch diameter forebody that tapers to a 10-inch diameter rocket motor. The forebody includes a guidance section uses a radome-protected antenna for semi-active homing and attaches to an improved warhead section. A high-thrust, solid-propellant 10-inch diameter rocket motor provides high thrust for maneuverability with tail control via a Thrust Vector Controller (TVC).
ESSM’s effective tracking performance and agile kinematics result from S- and X-band midcourse uplinks, high average velocity and tail control, increased firepower through a vertical “quad pack” launcher (Mk-41 VLS), and greater lethality with a warhead designed for defeating hardened ASCMs.
ESSM is a cooperative effort among 10 of 12 NATO Sea Sparrow nations governed by a Production Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and multinational work-share arrangement. In addition to the United States, ESSM Consortium Members include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Turkey.
The first production ESSM was delivered in late 2002 to the U.S. Navy by Raytheon Missile Systems (RMS) and has been in full operational use in the U.S. since 2004. ESSM is fired from the Mk-29 trainable launcher, Mk-41 Vertical Launch System (VLS), Mk-57 VLS (DDG 1000), Mk-48 Guided Missile VLS (Canadian, Greece, Japan), and Mk-56 Dual Pack ESSM Launching System (Danish Navy) configurations by the U.S. Navy, NATO, and other Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. ESSM interfaces with the Aegis (DDG 51 and CG 47 classes), NSSMS (LHD and CVN classes), Ship Self-Defense System (LHA-6 and future CVN classes), Total Ship Computing Environment (DDG 1000), ANZAC (Royal Australian Navy), Dutch Configuration (various European Navies), FLEXFIRE (Danish Navy), and APAR (various European Navies) combat systems.
Primary Function: Surface-To-Air and Surface-To-Surface radar-guided missile.
Contractor: Raytheon Missile Systems, Tuscson, Ariz.
Date Deployed: 2004
Unit Cost: $787000 - $972000 depending on configuration
Propulsion: NAMMO-Raufoss, Alliant (solid fuel rocket)
Length: 12 feet (3,64 meters)
Diameter: 8 inches (20,3 cm) - 10 inches (25,4 cm)
Weight: 622 pounds (280 kilograms)
Speed: Mach 4+
Range: more than 27 nmi (more than 50 km)
Guidance System: Raytheon semi-active on continuous wave or interrupted continuous wave illumination
Warhead: Annular blast fragmentation warhead, 90 pounds (40,5 kg)
Mk-29 missile launcher
Mk-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS)
Mk-48 Vertical Launching System (VLS)
Mk-57 Vertical Launching System (VLS) (DDG-1000 class)
US Navy: CVN, LHA, LHD, DDG, CG
+ Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE
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