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Surface Vessel Weapon System
RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM)
 

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The RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) is a development of the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missile used to protect ships from attacking missiles and aircraft. ESSM is designed to counter supersonic maneuvering anti-ship missiles. ESSM also has the ability to be "quad-packed" in the Mark 41 Vertical Launch System, allowing up to four ESSMs to be carried in a single cell.

The original RIM-7 Sea Sparrow was an expedient design intended to provide short-range defensive fire in a system that could be deployed as rapidly as possible. In the years after its introduction, it was upgraded to follow improvements being made in the air-to-air models used by the US Navy and US Air Force. The ultimate version in this line of weapons was the R model, which introduced a new dual-seeker homing system and many other upgrades. However, the AIM-120 AMRAAM offered higher performance from a missile that was smaller and lighter, and development of the Sparrow ended in the 1990s. This left only the Sea Sparrow using the basic platform, and it no longer had to fit on aircraft. So instead of simply using the P and R models as they were, it was decided to dramatically upgrade the weapon. The ESSM emerged as a completely new weapon, common only in name with the original, although using all of the same support equipment allowing it to be fit to ships already mounting the older models.

Compared to the Sea Sparrow, ESSM has a larger, more powerful rocket motor for increased range and agility, as well as upgraded aerodynamics using strakes and skid-to-turn. In addition, ESSM takes advantage of the latest missile guidance technology, with different versions for Aegis/AN/SPY-1, Sewaco/Active Phased Array Radar (APAR), and traditional target illumination all-the-way. ESSM Block II will leverage existing technology and features a dual-mode X band seeker, increased maneuverability, and other enhancements. Unlike Block 1, Block 2's active radar homing seeker will support terminal engagement without the launch ship's target illumination radars. The improved ESSM Block II will be fielded by the US Navy from 2020.


Launchers:

Mk-29 box launcher (RIM-162D):
The original launcher is Mark 29 Guided Missile Launching System Mod. 4 & 5 (Mk 29 GMLS Mod 4 & 5), which is developed from earlier models Mk 29 Mod 1/2/3 for Sea Sparrow. Mk 29 launchers provide on-mount stowage and launching capability for firing up to eight missiles in a self-contained environmentally controlled trainable launcher design.

Mk-41 VLS (RIM-162A/B):
The Mark 41 Vertical Launching System is the primary launch system for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile. The Mk 41 is deployed aboard destroyers and frigates, primarily of the United States and allied nations. The ESSM is quadpacked within a Mk 41 cell allowing a significantly increased missile load over SM-2.

Mk-48 VLS (RIM-162C):
In addition to the Mk 29 GMLS and Mk 41 VLS systems, the other primary launcher is Mk 48 VLS. The 2-cell module of Mk-48 makes the system very versatile and enables it to be installed on board in spaces that otherwise cannot be utilized. The weight of a 2-cell module of Mk-48 is 660 kg (1,450 lbs) (with empty canisters), 330 kg (725 lbs) for exhaust system, and 360 kg (800 lbs) for ship installation interfaces. Each canister of the Mk-48 VLS houses a single RIM-7VL (Vertically Launched) Sea Sparrow cell or two RIM-162 ESSM cells, though, with modification, other missiles can also be launched. There are a total of four models in the Mk 48 family, with Mod 0 & 1 housing either 2 RIM-7VL or 4 RIM-162 cells, Mod 2 housing either 16 RIM-7VL or 32 RIM-162 cells. Mod 0/1/2 are usually grouped into either a 16-cell module for RIM-7VL or a 32-cell module for RIM-162. Mod 3 fits into the StanFlex modules on Royal Danish Navy ships and can house either 6 RIM-7VL or 12 RIM-162 cells; the Danes now use the latter.

Mk-56 VLS:
The successor of Mk 48 VLS, Mark 56 Guided Missile Vertical Launching System (Mk 56 GMVLS) or simply Mk 56, is latest launcher developed for RIM-162 ESSM. In comparison to its predecessor, Mk 56 utilize greater percentage of composite material, reducing the weight more than 20%. Mexican Navy will be one of the customers of the MK 56, using an 8-cell (twin 4-cell) launcher on their Sigma-class design frigates.


General Characteristics:
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: Mk-143 Mod.0 solid fuel rocket
Length: 12 feet (3,66 meters)
Diameter: 8 inches (20,3 cm) - 10 inches (25,4 cm)
Weight: 620 pounds (280 kilograms)
Speed: Mach 4+
Range: more than 27 NM (more than 50 km)
Warhead: Annular blast fragmentation warhead, 86 pounds (39 kg)
Guidance System:
Terminal semi-active radar homing for Block 1 / dual semi-active/active radar homing for Block 2 / Mid-course update datalink

Launching Systems:
Mk-29 missile launcher (RIM-162D)
Mk-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) (RIM-162A/B)
Mk-48 Vertical Launching System (VLS) (RIM-162C)
Mk-57 Peripheral Vertical Launching System (VLS)


Users:
ESSM consortium members:
USA (Navy), Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Turkey

Foreign sales:
Japan, Mexico, Thailand, UAE

source: wikipedia, US Navy
  

images


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RIM-162 ESSM was fired from a Mk-29 box launcher

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RIM-162 ESSM was launched from the Mk-41 VLS aboard Japanese Helicopter Destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181)

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RIM-162 ESSM was launched from the Mk-41 VLS (8 cells) aboard a Royal Norwegian Navy Fridtjof Nansen class Frigate

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RIM-162 ESSM was launched from the Mk-41 VLS (8 cells) aboard a Royal Norwegian Navy Fridtjof Nansen class Frigate

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RIM-162 ESSM was launched from the Mk-41 VLS (8 cells) aboard a Royal Norwegian Navy Fridtjof Nansen class Frigate

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