ABU DHABI — Raytheon has completed delivery and integration of launchers for eight United Arab Emirates ships, the company announced, and is closing in on delivering all the Block 1A and Block 2 Rolling Airframe Missiles.
The UAE contracted with Raytheon for RAM Block 2 in 2016, and the company has delivered four out of the five tranches of missiles ordered, said Jeff Meyer, who does business development for Raytheon. Meyer was attending the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi.
The Block 2 Rolling Airframe missile is an upgrade that installed a larger rocket motor, better guidance and transmitters in the missile to counter ever-faster and trickier anti-ship missiles.
Meyer said the UAE is continuing to build ships, and he expects the company will continue providing RAM Block 2 to those vessels in the next two years.
In the larger Middle East, the SeaRAM, a combination of RAM and the Phalanx system, also has prospects in the region.
“[The UAE] is interested, it would be a good option for them, but so far they have not gone that direction,” Meyer said. “There are two countries in the region that are interested. We’re working on trying to make that work. … On the SeaRAM you are going to need to have the government interested as well as a [Foreign Military Sales] case. Just adds another layer of complications.”
In 2015, U.S. 6th Fleet rushed to install SeaRAM on its four Rota, Spain-based destroyers in response to what the U.S. Navy described as a specific threat, without going into details.
Russia has been increasing it’s anti-access capabilities, including shore-based anti-ship missiles, in the eastern Mediterranean and in the Black Sea, which was likely the impetus for the “speed-to-fleet” program.