Egypt has requested the sale of up to 168 Raytheon RIM‑116C Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) Block 2 tactical missiles from the United States in a deal that could be worth $197 million. They will be used on Egyptian Navy fast missile craft.
The US State Department on 16 February announced that it had made a determination approving the possible Foreign Military Sale, and that the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.
In addition to 168 RIM‑116C Rolling Airframe Missiles, Egypt has also requested RAM Guided Missile Round Pack Tri-Pack shipping and storage containers, manuals and technical documentation, support and logistics.
“The proposed sale will support the Egyptian Navy’s Fast Missile Craft ships and provide significantly enhanced area defence capabilities over Egypt’s coastal areas and approaches to the Suez Canal. Egypt will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces since Egypt already operates previously procured RAM Block 1A missiles,” the DSCA said. The Egyptian Navy’s Ambassador Mk IV missile craft use the type.
The RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile is a lightweight, quick-reaction, fire-and-forget missile designed to destroy anti-ship cruise missiles and asymmetric air and surface threats. The RIM-116 RAM was developed as a cooperative programme between the US and German governments and continues to be cooperatively produced and supported. Users include the German, Japanese, Greek, Turkish, South Korean, UAE, Saudi Arabian, Egyptian, Mexican and US navies.
For all versions of the missile, there is no shipboard support required (i.e., no illuminators) after missile launch. The original Block 0 design was based upon the infra-red seeker of the Stinger missile, and the warhead, rocket motor and fuse from the Sidewinder missile. The Block 0 configuration uses Radio Frequency (RF) for midcourse guidance and transitions to Infrared (IR) guidance for terminal engagement. The Block 1A incorporates the added capability of autonomous IR-all-the-way guidance, thus countering advanced anti-ship cruise missiles that do not employ onboard radar seekers.
The Block 2 missile provides kinematic and guidance improvements for countering manoeuvring and low probability of intercept threats. It features a Control Section upgrade (4 canards vs. 2 for Block 1A), a Propulsion Section upgrade (a larger, composite case rocket motor) and an Evolved Radio Frequency (ERF) receiver. The improvements make the missile two and a half times more manoeuvrable, with one and a half times the effective intercept range.
The Block 2 missile is 2.88 metres long, weights 88 kg and has a top speed in excess of Mach 2.