The U.S. State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Finland of 68 Evolved SEASPARROW Missiles (ESSM) and one ESSM inert operational missile for an estimated cost of $112.7 million.
Also included in the possible sale are 17 MK25 quad pack canisters, eight MK783 shipping containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, training, U.S. Government/Contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services and technical assistance, and other related elements of logistical support.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on Feb. 5, 2018.
The DSCA said in a statement that this proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a partner nation that has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe.
This is the first time Finland is planning to purchase ESSM missiles.
Finland intends to use the missiles on its new Squadron 2020 class Corvette ships. The missiles will provide enhanced capabilities in effective defense of critical sea lanes and improve Finland’s capability to meet current and future threats of enemy anti-ship weapons.
The principal contractors will be Raytheon Missile Systems (RMS) Tucson, AZ, for the missiles, and BAE Systems, Aberdeen, SD, for the missile canisters.
RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) is a development of the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missile used to protect ships from attacking missiles and aircraft.
ESSM is designed to counter supersonic maneuvering anti-ship missiles. ESSM also has the ability to be “quad-packed” in the Mark 41 Vertical Launch System.
Compared to the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow, ESSM has a larger, more powerful rocket motor for increased range and agility, as well as upgraded aerodynamics using strakes and skid-to-turn. In addition, ESSM takes advantage of the latest missile guidance technology, with different versions for Aegis/AN/SPY-1, Sewaco/Active Phased Array Radar (APAR), and traditional target illumination all-the-way.