RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile

Product Type:

Shipboard Missile Defense System

Using Service (US):


Program Status:

In Production

Prime Contractor:

Raytheon Company

The RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile

About the RIM-116:

The Raytheon RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) is a supersonic, lightweight, quick reaction, fire-and-forget missile designed to engage anti-ship cruise missiles and asymmetric air and surface threats, including helicopter/other airborne threats and enemy surface vessels. According to Raytheon, RAM has been fired in more than 300 flight tests with a 95% success rate. The RIM-116 RAM was developed as a cooperative program between the U.S. and German governments and continues to be cooperatively produced and supported (more information below). The systems' design is based upon the infrared seeker of the FIM-92 Stinger missile.

There are three RIM-116 variants, including the Block 0 (RIM-116A), Block 1 (RIM-116B), and Block 2 (RIM-116C). The Block 0 was the original RAM variant (same rocket motor, fuze, and warhead as the AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile). The Block 1 adds the capability of infrared all-the-way guidance while maintaining the original dual-mode passive Radio Frequency/Infrared (RF/IR) guidance system from Block 0. Block 1 is in full-rate production and was purchased by the U.S. Navy until FY 2011. The RIM-116C Block 2 is the next step in the development of the Rolling Airframe Missile. The RIM-116C is in low-rate initial production and the Navy started purchasing this variant in FY 2012. The Block 2 missile features a kinematic and RF receiver upgrade, a larger and more powerful rocket motor, and an advanced control section. This makes the missile three times as maneuverable as the Block 1 missile with twice the effective intercept range. According to Raytheon, this makes the RIM-116C missile able to defeat high-maneuver threats and intercept crossing threats. The enhanced RF receiver allows detection of anti-ship missiles that employ low probability of intercept radars.

The RIM-116 is fired from the Raytheon Mk 49 Guided Missile Launching System (GMLS), which holds 21 Mk 44 Guided Missile Round Packs (GMRP). The Mk 49 and Mk 44 comprise the Mk 31 Guided Missile Weapon System (GMWS). Mk 31 GMWS is the most modern ship self-defense weapon system in the world and has been specifically designed to provide protection for ships of all sizes. The system is currently deployed on more than 165 ships in seven fleets, ranging from Nimitz Class aircraft carriers (weighing up to 106,000 metric tons) to smaller fast attack craft.

The RIM-116 missile is fully operational in the U.S. and German navies with more than 3,400 missiles and 180 launchers deployed. It is installed on the majority of new U.S. Navy ship classes, including the LHA 6 America Class Amphibious Assault Ship, the Ford Class (CVN 78 Class) aircraft carrier, and the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). Worldwide, RAM is installed or planned for installation aboard more than 165 ships the navies of Egypt, Germany, Greece, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Under the RAM international cooperative agreement between the United States and Germany (signed in August 1987), development and production work is shared between Raytheon in the U.S. and the German companies LFK, Diehl BGT Defence and RAMSYS. The United States and Germany signed a new Block 1 production agreement on June 24, 2008 to cooperatively produce RIM-116B missiles, launchers and Ordnance Alterations (ORDALTs). The Block 2 Production MOU was signed on March 19, 2013 with the U.S and Germany to cooperatively produce Block 2 missiles, launchers, and ORDALTs and continue to provide support for Block 1 configuration missiles through FY 2019.

On U.S. Navy ships, the RIM-116 missile and Mk 31 GMWS are integrated with Mk 1 and Mk 2 variants of the Ship Self-Defense System (SSDS). The SSDS integrates the AN/SPS-67 and AN/SPS-73 Surface Search Radars, AN/SPS-48E radar antenna, AN/SPS-49A(V)1 Air Search Radar, AN/SPQ-9B multi-purpose surface search & fire control radar, AN/UPX-29 Interrogator System, AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Attack System, Mk 53 NULKA Anti-Ship Missile Decoy Launching System, Mk 15 Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS), Mk 31 GMWS and RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile, NATO Sea Sparrow missile system, and the RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM).

On August 1, 2012, Raytheon was awarded a $51.7 million ($105 million including options) contract for the low rate initial production (LRIP) of the RAM Block 2 missile. On April 1, 2013, Raytheon Company was awarded a $155.6 million contract for the manufacture of Block 2 missiles for delivery to the German Navy (Deutsche Marine).

In August 2014, Raytheon delivered the first RIM-116C Block 2 missiles to the U.S. Navy.

Price/Unit Cost:

The RIM-116C Block 2 missile has a unit cost of $759,636 (recurring cost in FY 2014).


The mission of the RAM System is to provide high firepower close-in defense of combatant and auxiliary ships by utilizing a dual mode, passive radio frequency/infrared missile in a compact missile launcher.

FY 2014 DoD Program:

Continues production of missiles and alterations. In FY 2013, the Navy will purchase 66 RIM-116C Block 2 missiles at a total cost of $67.6M.Continues production of missiles and alterations.

FY 2015 DoD Program:

Funds the low rate initial production of 90 RIM-116C Block II missiles as well as the ongoing developmental and operational testing.

For more information, click to see the Complete FY 2015 RIM-116 Budget.

Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Raytheon Company

Specifications DoD Spending FY2015 Budget

Last Update: August 28, 2014.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard /// (jkasper@bga-aeroweb.com)

External Resources:

Raytheon: RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile

Alliant Techsystems: ATK Mk 112 Rocket Motor

YouTube: Rolling Airframe Missile | YouTube Videos

Fact Sheet: Not available

RIM-116 U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
DoD Purchases of RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
Defense Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2011/12/13 + Budget for FYs 2014 + 2015

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile Program

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

RIM-116 Missile Purchases (NAVY)

Missile Specifications: RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile

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Primary Function: Anti cruise missile ship self-defense system
Prime Contractor: Raytheon Co.
Propulsion: Alliant Techsystems Mk 112 Mod 1 solid-propellant rocket motor
Length: 9.3 ft (2.82 m)
Diameter: 5 in (12.7 cm)
Wingspan: 17.5 in (44.5 cm)
Weight: RIM-116 Missile: 162 lbs (73.5 kg)
Above-Deck Weight (RAM Launcher): 12,134 lbs (5,504 kg) including rounds
Below-Deck Weight (RAM Launcher): 1,933 lbs (877 kg)
Speed: Supersonic (Mach 2+)
Range: 4.9 nm/5.6 miles (9 km)
LHA 6 America Class
Amphibious Assault Ships (LHA/LHD)
Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier (CVN 68 Class)
Ford Class Aircraft Carrier (CVN 78 Class) - from 2015
Dock Landing Ships (LSD)
Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)
Guidance System: Passive RF/infrared homing; infrared;
infrared dual-mode enabled (RF and infrared homing)
Warhead: 7.9 lbs blast fragmentation warhead (explosive weight)
Price/Unit Cost: RIM-116C Block 2: $759,636 (in FY 2014)
Deployed: 1993

Defense Program

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