The Insider

Navy expects ESSM to reach full-rate production in 2023

Justin Katz   | February 21, 2018

The Navy anticipates full-rate production rounds of Ratheyon's Evolved Seasparrow Missile Block II will be delivered to the fleet in 2023, one of several new acquisition milestones laid out in new budget justification documents.

After two successful controlled test vehicle flights last June, the service is planning three more test flights in fiscal year 2018. It also expects to reach milestone C this fiscal year.

In 2020, the upgraded missile is expected to reach initial operational capability on Aegis platforms and begin low-rate initial production deliveries.

The Navy expects to reach IOC for Ship Self Defense System platforms in 2023. Additionally, the service anticipates full-rate production rounds will be delivered to the fleet that year.

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 the budget documents. Block II replaces a "largely obsolete guidance section with a dual mode active/semi-active X-band seeker" capability. 

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