BAE Systems Australia has received a guided weapons export contract from Raytheon Missiles and Defence to support the global Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) programme.

Under the contract, BAE Systems and Australian industry partners will deliver critical software and hardware sub-assemblies for the ESSM Block 2 programme.

The sub-assemblies will include various components of missiles, such as aerodynamic control fins, thrust vector controller, telemetry data transmitting systems, pitch over autopilot algorithms, fuselage and internal structural elements.

Around 33 Australian industries will manufacture and deliver missile components to BAE Systems’ manufacturing facilities at Edinburgh Parks.

Initially, the contract covers three-year full-rate production work at an estimated base value of over $50m along with up to $40m for quantity-based options.

Besides, the contract will require a workforce comprising of nearly 35 engineers and technicians along with an order book for future full-rate production.

BAE Systems Australia chief executive Ben Hudson said: “This contract, alongside our Prime Contractor role on the Nulka Active Missile Decoy, continues the important work undertaken by our employees and our trusted industry partners across Australia which have been delivering guided weapons capability into domestic and export programmes for decades.”

Nato’s ESSM consortium comprises 12 nations, including Australia, the US, Canada, Germany, Denmark, and Norway, among others.

BAE Systems is leading the Australian industry team in the consortium. It has been supporting the ESSM programme since the 1990s when the engineering & manufacturing development (E&MD) phase started.

The company has further supported the programme to the full-rate production phase of the Block 1 missile and the Block 2 development phase that started in 2015.

A medium-range, surface-to-air missile, EESM is developed to protect warships from various future threats, including anti-ship cruise missiles.