The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded a $28m cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to Raytheon Missiles and Defense (RTX) for work on the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) improvement program in Tucson, Arizona, expected to be completed in September 2025.

RAM is a shipboard defence system that protects against incoming anti-ship missiles, aircraft, helicopters, and vessels. Using its dual-mode (radar and infrared) seeker, the fire-and-forget missile guides itself towards the target. The weapon system is notable for its short reaction times and high potency.

Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to the amount of $5.6m account for 26% of the total costs of the contract, with sales to Qatar accounting for 10%; Japan 9%; and Egypt’s purchases making up 7%. The remaining costs are for shipbuilding conversion, research and design, test and evaluation, and operations and maintenance.

If all of the options in the contract are exercised, the total cost of the RAM upgraded MK 31 Guided Missile Weapon System Improvement Program could come to $282m.

The RAM missile system is a joint project between the United States and Germany, with the system being operated by Germany, South Korea, Egypt, and Turkey. It is designed to be launched from ships and provides quick-reaction defence against multiple threats.

In April 2023, RTX was awarded a $44m modification to the RAM Block 2b Guided Missile Round Pack contract, as the US Navy exercised options as part of its ongoing efforts to modernise the fleet and ensure the readiness of ships.

In October, RAM-System won a $206.6m contract from Naval Sea Systems Command to procure RAM Block 2B Guided Missile Round Pack and spare replacement components for the German Navy.

The US State Department approved the sale of 168 RAM Block 2 Tactical missiles to Egypt in February 2021, in an estimated $197m sale. In September 2020, the US State Department approved the sale of 51 RAM Block 2 tactical missiles to Japan for $55m. In April 2016, Qatar requested a $260m sale of RIM-116C and RIM-116C-2 RAM Missiles from the US.