A RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile is launched after locking onto its target during a live fire missile exercise on board the USS BATAAN (LHD 5) (Wasp class)

The RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) is a small, lightweight, infrared homing surface-to-air missile in use by the United States Navy, German Navy, Hellenic Navy, Egyptian Navy and South Korean Navy.


It is intended primarily as a point-defence weapon against anti-ship cruise missiles.


The missile is named because it rolls during its flight to stabilise the flight path.

The onboard Mk 49 launcher installation weighs 5,777 kg (12,736lbs or 6.4 tons) and stores 21 missiles. The weapon cannot employ its own sensors prior to firing so it must be integrated with a ship's combat system, which directs the launcher at targets. On US ships it is integrated with the AN/SWY-2 and Ship Self Defence System combat systems.

The RIM-116 was developed by General Dynamics under a July 1976 agreement with Denmark and West Germany. (The General Dynamics missile business was later acquired by Hughes Aircraft and is today part of Raytheon.) The US Navy hopes to purchase 1,600 RAMs and 115 launchers to equip 74 ships. The RIM-116 is currently used on several American and 25 German warships. Moreover, all new German Navy vessels will be equipped with RAM, such as the new, stealthy Braunschweig class corvettes, which will mount 2 RAM launchers per ship. The Hellenic Navy has equipped the new Super Vita-class fast attack craft and South Korea has also signed procurement contracts.

RIM-116 RAM Specifications
Type Infrared anti-missile missile
Manufacturer Raytheon
Weight 73.5kg
Warhead 11.3kg blast fragmentation
Length 9ft (2.8m)
Diameter 5in (12.7cm)
Performance Speed Mach 2 +, range 11 miles (7.5km), guidance passive radio frequency and infrared