RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile

The RIM -116 RAM ( Rolling Airframe Missile ) is a short-range missile based defense system ( CIWS ) for ships, which is able to intercept enemy anti-ship missiles. This covers a wide range of current threats is covered, including Seaskimmer and hochmanövrierfähige missiles. In tests against both individual missiles as well as volleys against the system achieved an unprecedented level of efficiency of over 95 %. Depending on the size of the ship to be protected up to three initiators.

The RIM -116 missile forms, together with the MK -49 Starter ( Guided Missile Launching System, GMLS ), the weapon system RAM MK -31. In this embodiment, it must be integrated into the combat system of the ship to obtain objective information because the missile 's sensors can not be used before the start. An independently deployable version ( SeaRAM ) is in development.


The development of the Rolling Airframe Missile began in the mid -1970s by General Dynamics. First developed only by the U.S., in 1978 first use, attempts were made in 1979 the further development of the United States, Denmark and Germany was taken over and continued together. The USS David R. Ray (DD -971 ) 1984 has been upgraded with the first starter of the U.S. Navy.

The missile uses the seeker of the FIM -92 Stinger and the motor and warhead of the AIM - 9 Sidewinder. Adjacent to the first version, the first radar uses and the final approach to the target infrared detection, an improved version has been developed, the addition also in a pure infrared operation can control the target.

The starter of the weapon system was partially developed from components of the CIW and summarizes the standard version of 21 missiles; The Danish Navy has a smaller version of an eleven missiles.

The RAM missiles and parts of the starter construction are also used in the SeaRAM system from Raytheon to use.

Rolling Airframe control

The missile has a pair of wings behind the steering seeker. During flight, the missile rotates about its longitudinal axis. Once the sensor makes a heat source, the steering vane pair jumps out of the trunk. It is not parallel but displaced by a few degrees to the longitudinal axis aligned, thereby changing the direction of flight. In continuation of the self- rotation, the target gets out of the detection range of the viewfinder and the guide vanes are drawn until the heat source is coming back into the detection area. In this way, " screwed " the missile towards the target, hence the name "rolling airframe missile". The advantages of this method over a control about all axes are the self- stabilization by rotation and the lack of servo motors, there's only switch between one and the unfolded state.


The German Navy used the RAM system currently on the speedboats Cheetah class, on all frigates ( F122, F123, F124 ) and the corvettes of the class K130 (Braunschweig class).

The U.S. Navy has the RAM weapon system installed on aircraft carriers, landing ships and the Littoral Combat Ship. As a third-country customers the navies of South Korea, Greece, Egypt, the UAE and Turkey have introduced the RAM weapon system.


  • Block 0: 1992 introduced the original version
  • Block 1: combat performance -enhanced version for use against Seaskimmer ( particularly low-flying small goals ) and supersonic missiles. For the infrared part of the RAM has been upgraded.
  • Block 1A (HAS -Mode ( Helicopter, Aircraft, and Surface targets) ) modified variant for use against helicopters and combat aircraft and small above-water targets.
  • Block 2: planned in the development, commissioning in 2011, improved agility by four instead of two canards with a 40% larger area and longer range missile engine with enlarged diameter ( 14.6 cm instead of 12.7 cm).


Missile ( Block 1)

  • Manufacturer: Translant Inc., MBDA Germany GmbH, Diehl BGT Defence, ( starter, among other things produced by the FFG Flensburg )
  • Length: 2.79 m
  • Diameter: 127 mm
  • Wingspan: 445 mm
  • Weight: 73.5 kg
  • Speed: approximately Mach 3
  • Range: 9 km
  • Drive: single-stage solid-fuel rocket
  • Warhead: 11.36 kg HE- explosives
  • Detonator: laser-based proximity fuze
  • Steering: Passive radar, IR, UV


  • Weight: above the deck (including missiles ): 5188 kg
  • Below deck: 941 kg
  • Horizontal: 360 °
  • Vertical: - 25 ° to 80 °