The Royal Thai Navy has signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance with the U.S. government to purchase nine Evolved SeaSparrow Missiles for its two Naresuan frigates currently undergoing overhauls and upgrades. This LOA increases the total ESSM user community to 13 nations.
The Royal Thai ESSMs will be fired from an MK 41 eight-cell vertical launch system using an MK 25 Quad Pack canister. This capability will allow for up to 32 ESSMs on each ship.
“This agreement brings the enhanced kinematics of the ESSM to the Royal Thai Navy’s inventory and provides unsurpassed defense against a new generation of threats,” said Rick Nelson, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems’ Naval and Area Mission Defense product line. “The addition of the ESSM will provide the Royal Thai Navy an unmatched ship self-defense capability, as well as allowing the fleet to take advantage of future spiral evolutions of the missile.”
With 18 industrial partners representing 10 nations, ESSM is the world’s premier international cooperative missile production program. ESSM is a key component of Raytheon’s portfolio of products that provides a global layered defense capability to meet the needs of diverse platforms, combat system design and theaters of operation. Recently a ground-launched version of ESSM was introduced to apply the same solutions against late-detect and highly capable threats on land as found in the sea-based missile. Testing is under way on this ground-launched variant.
Raytheon Company, with 2011 sales of $25 billion and 71,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass.