The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of the potential foreign military sale of RIM-116C and RIM-116C-2 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) to Qatar.
Under the estimated $260m sale, Qatar has requested 252 RIM-116C rolling airframe tactical missiles, two RIM-116C-2 rolling airframe telemetry missiles, and support equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training, US Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, live fire test event support, and other related integration elements.
Raytheon Missile Systems of Tucson, Arizona, US, has been selected as the prime contractor for the sale.
Approved by the US State Department, the sale is expected to boost the foreign policy and national security of the US by enhancing the defence capabilities of an ally.
The proposed sale is expected to strengthen Qatar's naval defence and shield the nearby oil and gas infrastructure from air and missile threats.
Qatar is considered as a key area to promote political stability and economic progress in the Persian Gulf region for the US.
The RIM-116 RAM is a lightweight, quick-reaction, fire-and-forget missile designed to target and terminate anti-ship cruise missiles and asymmetric air and surface threats.
It currently exists in two configurations, Block 1A (RIM-116B) and Block 2 (RIM-116C).
The initial Block 0 configuration uses radio frequency (RF) for midcourse guidance and transitions to Infrared (IR) guidance for terminal engagement.
Block 1A provides the added capability of autonomous IR-all-the-way guidance, thus terminating advanced anti-ship cruise missiles that do not employ on-board radar seekers.
The Block 2 configuration incorporates kinematic and guidance improvements to the missile to counter maneuvering threats and regaining battlespace, featuring control section upgrade, a propulsion section upgrade (a larger, composite case rocket motor) and an evolved radio frequency (ERF) receiver.
Image: A RAM fired from US Navy amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gary Granger Jr.