German Navy continue purchase of US RAM GMLS

The US Department of Defense (DoD) awarded another contract modification to its prime missile manufacturer, Raytheon, an RTX business, worth $33.8m on 7 June 2024. The supplier will provide requirements and spares for RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Mod 5 guided missile launcher system (GMLS) for shipborne air defence on surface combatants in the German Navy.

With slightly less than half of the work taking place in Ottobrunn in southern Germany, the remainder will be produced at various facilities across the US.

RAM is a supersonic, lightweight, quick-response, GMLS jointly developed by the two nations; the systems are currently deployed on 165 ships across 11 navies from Germany, South Korea, Egypt, Turkey to the US.

The modification builds on an enduring partnership concerning the system in which the DoD last awarded a $57.2m modification for the procurement of RAM material, assembly and tests of the Mod 5 variant for both navies in July last year.

F126 incorporates RAM system

While the DoD modification does not specify which vessels this latest round of support will benefit, it should be noted that the German Navy has recently laid the keel for the first of the future F126 frigates, which are due to include two RAM GMLS.

With a length of 166 metres and a displacement of around 10,000 tonnes, these vessels are set to become the largest combat ships within the German Armed Forces. With crews of up to 198 soldiers, the frigates are engineered to facilitate three-dimensional naval warfare, enabling them to engage targets across air, water, and underwater domains.

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German missile defence market analysis

GlobalData intelligence indicates that missiles and missile defence systems is the second-largest sector for Germany by forecast value.

The cumulative market value is $, with a positive compound annual growth rate of 7.4%. The sector is valued at $1.9bn in 2023 and is forecast to fluctuate very slightly before reaching $2.8bn in 2028.

It is believed that the platform-based missile defence segment – which includes systems such as RAM – contributes to the highest value area in the German missile defence market, worth $8.7bn.

Additional reporting from Harry McNeil.

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