The Insider

ESSM completes successful intercept shot

By Justin Katz  
July 6, 2018 at 8:23 AM

The Evolved Seasparrow Missile Block II successfully intercepted an aerial target in a recent flight test, according to a July 5 Navy statement.

"The test is the first ESSM flight test to utilize the new Block II active guidance seeker-head. ESSM Block II will employ both semi-active and active guidance to meet current and anticipated future threats," the statement said. The NATO Seasparrow Project Office conducted the test.

Evolved Seasparrow Missile is an international program with several NATO partners designed to provide "crucial defense battlespace and fire power against the fast, low altitude, highly maneuverable Anti-Ship Cruise Missile (ASCM) threat," according to Navy budget documents.

ESSM prime contractor Raytheon in May received a $77 million contract to prepare the program for low-rate initial production, Inside the Navy previously reported. Brian Burton, senior program director for intermediate area defense systems at Raytheon, told ITN at the time the company anticipates receiving a Block II LRIP contract later this year.