Overview

The Sea Sparrow Missile is a surface-to-air, radar guided missile which was originally developed by Raytheon and General Dynamics. The RIM 7 was first deployed in 1976 and is deployed by both the United States Navy and Marine Corps.[i] In 2004, the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile was deployed after a cooperative effort from 10 NATO countries.[ii] The ESSM featured improved range from the RIM 7 as well as now having a surface-to-surface capability.[iii] The Sea Sparrow provides reliable ship self-defense capabilities against anti-ship cruise missiles, low-velocity air threats, and high-speed surface threats however has limited to no capability against ballistic missiles.[iv] Currently there are more than 2000 ESSMs in service by 13 different countries. The ESSM is expected to stay in service beyond 2030.[v]

Sea Sparrow Missile (RIM 7)

Primary Function Surface-to-Air
Contractor Raytheon and General Dynamics
Date Deployed 1976
Unit Cost $165,400
Weight Approximately 225 kgs
Speed Classified
Range Classified
Guidance System Semi-active on continuous wave or pulsed Doppler radar energy
Platforms Navy Surface Platforms: CVN, LHA, LHD classes
Warhead Annular blast fragmentation warhead, 40.5 kg
Defends against High-Speed, Low-Altitude Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles; Helicopters; UAS; other low-velocity air-threats

 

Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM)

Primary Function Surface-to-Air, Surface-to-surface
Contractor Raytheon
Date Deployed 2004
ESSM Users Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE
Unit Cost $787k – $972k
Weight Approximately 282 kg
Speed Classified
Range Classified
Guidance System Semi-active on continuous wave or interrupted continuous wave illumination
Platforms Navy Surface Platforms: CVN, LHA, LHD, DDG 51, CG47, DDG 1000 classes
Warhead Annular blast fragmentation warhead, 40.5 kg
Defends Against High-Speed, Low-Altitude Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles; Helicopters; UAS; other low-velocity air-threats; High-Speed Maneuverable Surface Threats;

 


Sources:

[i] http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=2200&tid=900&ct=2

[ii] http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=2200&tid=950&ct=2

[iii] http://www.raytheon.com/capabilities/products/essm/

[iv] http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=2200&tid=950&ct=2

[v] http://www.raytheon.com/capabilities/products/essm/

Missile Defense

Contact

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