The first contract from the U.S. Navy NATO Seasparrow Project Office (NSPO), as previously announced by the Department of Defense, is for the production of ESSMs through fiscal year 2014 and contains the option for further production. The agreement also provides NSPO Consortium-Member Navies with miscellaneous spare parts, containers and test equipment.
The second contract is a two-year direct commercial sale. Raytheon will provide Mitsubishi Electric Corporation of Japan the components and assemblies necessary to manufacture and deliver ESSM weapons to the Japanese Ministry of Defense. Licensed production will take place at MELCO's facility in Japan.
"ESSM is the foundation of our allies' anti-ship missile defense," said Ed Roesly, ESSM Program Director for Raytheon Missile Systems.
"Raytheon, along with our international team of 18 partner companies, has advanced this world-class system to a point of prominence in ship self-defense. We continue to make missile improvements to outpace the threat," he added.
ESSM defends the battlespace by delivering ship self-defense firepower against high-G maneuvering anti-ship cruise missiles as well as surface and low-velocity air threats. ESSM consortium countries include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Turkey and the United States. Japan and UAE are also ESSM customer nations.
As a tail-controlled missile, ESSM uses enhancements to its guidance system to take advantage of improved seeker sensitivity, increased propulsion and greater weapon accuracy. These features enable ESSM to arrive at the intercept point with more endgame speed and agility to counter the threat.
ESSM Contribution to Warfighters
- Capability bridges the gap between close-in air defense and local area defense systems.
- Kinematics result in reduced time to target.
- Multi-mission weapon system is effective against high-speed or low-velocity threats.