03 Feb 2012
Julian Kerr | Sydney
The first land-based firing of an Evolved Sea Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) will take place in Norway in early May, Rick Nelson, Raytheon’s vice-president of Naval Weapon Systems, told ADM on February 1.
Nelson said the scheduled launch was part of a Raytheon strategy to adapt its sea-based anti-air systems to land basing to fill a market gap left by the eventual decommissioning of Hawk, Skyguard and the Soviet SA-6 Gainful air defence systems.
The May ESSM launch at a test range in northern Norway would be carried out in conjunction with Kongsberg, with whom Raytheon was in discussion on a possible long-term business relationship in the anti-air sector, Nelson said.
The launch would be carried out via a common launch rail that could also be used for the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) as part of Kongsberg’s Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) programme, he disclosed.