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Military

ESSM approved for Full Rate Production

NAVSEA News Wire

Release Date: 3/01/2004

By Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs

On January 12, 2004 the Honorable John J. Young, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research and Development, approved the Evolved SEASPARROW Missile (ESSM) to enter into full rate production. The ESSM is now being manufactured with the first U.S. rounds destined for the Aegis DDG community. USS Chaffee (DDG-90) was the first ship to receive tactical rounds in February and the USS McCampbell (DDG-85) will load out in March. Soon ESSM will also be employed aboard converted Aegis cruiser, CVs, and CVNs.

The ESSM is designed to counter technologically advanced, high speed, low radar cross section, maneuvering anti-ship threats to allied fleets. It can be launched from the Mk 41 VLS, the Mk 48 GMVLS (found aboard allied ships) as well as from the legacy Mk 29 launcher. Missile firepower can be significantly increased, without an increase in storage footprint, through the employment of the Mk 25 quad pack canister in the Mk 41.

ESSM is already "on watch" aboard Royal Australian Navy Anzac Class guided missile frigates. This came after a very successful operational test phase conducted in early September 2003 off the HMAS Warramunga, during which ESSM demonstrated its "local area defense" capability in Crossing Target Capability (XTC) mode.

In addition, ESSM performed successfully in the Royal Netherlands Navy "First of Class" firing aboard HNLMS De Zeven Provincien, an Air Defense and command frigate, in November 2003. This was also the first time ESSM was operated in the Interrupted CWI (ICWI) mode, directed by an X-band Active Multi Function Radar (APAR). In the coming months, ESSM will continue to undergo international testing aboard consortium ships from Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, and Turkey.



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