Home » News & Analysis » VIDEO: Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado Uses UAV to Target Anti-Ship Missile in Test off Guam


VIDEO: Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado Uses UAV to Target Anti-Ship Missile in Test off Guam

A Firescout unmanned aerial vehicle takes off from the flight deck of the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) off the coast of Guam on Aug. 22, 2017. US Navy photo.

Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado (LCS-4) fired a Harpoon Block 1C missile off the coast of Guam this week, successfully hitting a surface target beyond the ship’s visual range, the Navy announced.

An MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial system and a MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, both of which deployed with Coronado as part of its air detachment, provided targeting data for the Aug. 22 missile shot.

“LCS will play an important role in protecting shipping and vital U.S. interests in the maritime crossroads,” Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson, commander of Task Force 73, said in a Navy news release.
“Its ability to pair unmanned vehicles like Fire Scout with Harpoon missiles to strike from the littoral shadows matters – there are over 50,000 islands in the arc from the Philippines to India; those shallow crossroads are vital world interests. Harpoon and Fire Scout showcase one of the growing tool combinations in our modular LCS capability set and this complex shot demonstrates why LCS has Combat as its middle name.”

“Our crew and air detachment really came together as a team to accomplish this live-fire event,” Cmdr. Douglas Meagher, Coronado’s commanding officer, said in the same news release.
“Our Sailors worked hard to prepare for this exercise and I’m extremely proud of the way they performed.”

Coronado fired its first over-the-horizon Harpoon shot last summer at the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016 exercise off Hawaii. USS Freedom (LCS-1) was supposed to be outfitted to fire a Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile last summer too, but the Navy ran out of money and had to cancel the ship modification and missile procurement effort, meant to inform decisions around a permanent over-the-horizon anti-ship missile solution for the LCSs.

Harpoon is built to attack a range of surface targets. It can be launched from surface ships, submarines and aircraft, and it is currently used on 22 cruisers, 21 Flight I destroyers and seven Flight II destroyers, along with testing on the Littoral Combat Ship.

A harpoon missile launches from the missile deck of the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) off the coast of Guam on Aug. 22, 2017. US Navy photo.

Coronado’s first Harpoon shot last summer did not on its own sink its target, the decommissioned frigate USS Crommelin (FFG-37), though a larger effort by multiple ships and aircraft ultimately sank the ship. The Navy’s news release says lessons learned from that event helped inform this week’s shot, which came as part of exercise Pacific Griffin 2017 with the Republic of Singapore Navy.

“USS Coronado’s success in a real-world deployment of the harpoon missile system is a result of how we are changing the way we operate and think about LCS,” Capt. Lex Walker, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 7, said in the release.
“By focusing on how a deployed LCS fits in the larger maritime domain with regional partners, we are ensuring a secure and cooperative regional environment while increasing the ship’s capabilities.”

  • @USS_Fallujah

    This is great news, we can debate if the LCS program is worth the cost and time that’s been spent on these ships, but the USN is going to have 30some of them and they have to find the best way to make use of those hulls. A true OTH ASCM is a good start, bringing onboard the Longbow will go a long way toward fulfilling the “Swarm Boat” threat NavSea of 2003 was soooo worried about. Now about those MCM & ASW “Modules”…

    • BlueSky47

      we can use them as target practice, they could zoom around in circles saying “pew pew pew, I sunk you” while our Burke lay waste to it 12 miles away

      • @USS_Fallujah

        Based on this the LCS would actually have a small advantage in targeting range, though the disparity in AAW capabilities between the two platforms is enormous, so clearly the DDG would win an exchange, as it should being 3x more expensive and capable.

  • Ed L

    One could those harpoon launchers on the Gators too.

  • NavySubNuke

    Beyond visual range – simply amazing. The Chinese and Russian Navy’s – whose antiship missiles out-range the harpoon by 200+ miles) must be absolutely quaking with fear based on this development. Now all we have to do is get our LCS to survive a transit through about 200 miles of being within their range before we can launch our UAV, wait for it to get into position and provide the necessary data, and then fire off our 4 harpoons at them. That certainly sounds appealing!
    To think it has only taken us over a decade and $10B+ to get to this point….

    • Secundius

      Well it “IS” when you really think about is!/? The Gyrodyne QH-50 DASH, LOST Contact with Launch Ship when Flying Past the Visual Horizon. And Usually Flew DIRECTLY Into the Sea when contact was Lost. So much for “FM” Frequency Guidance Control…

    • BlueSky47

      the LCS is not called the “Sir Robin” class for nothing ya know 😛

    • MarlineSpikeMate

      And our destroyers are better off?

      • NavySubNuke

        Yes they are – they actually have the ability to defend themselves at something beyond knife fighting range so there is at least a chance they will survive.
        Also they can at least shoot back with SM-6’s in anti-surface mode — not exactly an optimal anti-ship missile but it sure beats a 4+ hours of being punched in the face just hoping to last long enough to punch back.

        • MarlineSpikeMate

          I’d take a harpoons over an SM-6s for anti-ship role. The LCS is getting the NSM, which will be heads and tails above anything a destroyer can manage for anti-ship…

          • NavySubNuke

            Luckily real warships have both harpoon and SM-6. And soon enough they will also have LRASM.
            Sure LCS is getting NSM just like it is getting an ASW and MCM module — more proof that with infinite time and money you can actually make something from nothing. But I wouldn’t hold your breath on any of those things — they are all a few years away at best.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            Well most destroyers do not have both SM-6s and harpoons… except for the old ones.

  • Lazarus

    LCS has been having a good year with a number of successes.

    • airider

      Like what?

      • Rhino601

        buoyancy

      • PolicyWonk

        Getting from one port to another, without breaking down.

        • Duane

          Or running into slow moving merchant ships, or aground, or fishing vessels. With malfunctioning steering gear. And killing their crew. And being taken out of service, to be hauled halfway around the world on a commercial barge, and costing many hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to return to service.

          Oops! Sorry, I thought you were referring to our other surface warships, not the LCS which have experienced none of those casualties, ever.

          Really, dudettes … get over your LCS hate. Whatever criticisms you made a living flogging here and other threads concerning the LCS absolutely pales compared to the recent failures of the so-called “real warships”. The issues on LCS were root-caused out and found to be crew training and crew management issues, not hardware issues. The issues with our Arleigh Burke and Ticos are to be determined, but very likely, most likely having to do with commanders, training and crew management, not hardware issues.

          • BlueSky47

            it’s becaue all the LCS are tied to the piers, or in dry dock, or in maintenance, or floatly around waiting for the next tug…

          • Rhino601

            You should be ashamed for invoking tragedies at sea that cost the lives of our sailors. If you are not ashamed, I am ashamed for you.

            I pray one of your science fair ships is not T-boned by a tanker.

          • Duane

            The tragedies are real and must be invoked, poked, prodded, examined, criticized, evaluated, and resolved. There is absolutely not one iota of shame involved in saying that.

            And furthermore, the commenters who need to be ashamed, but never will be, are those anti-LCS types in this thread who for years have spouted venom, untruths, and disparaged the people who developed, built, and are now putting their lives in harms way to protect us all in those ships. But of course, those trolls will never feel shame, or admit their gross errors, or end they disgusting ways.

          • Rhino601

            And now you attempt to take a moral high road over opinions and comments made in an online forum? You are screwed up.

      • NavySubNuke

        Not stranding crews overseas for 9+ months because the Navy was too afraid of what the relieving crew would do to the engines of the one operable LCS….

  • BlueSky47

    Wow, impressive beyond belief!
    Next up, Navy fires Harpoon from floating barge and says “we now have more sea-frames… and we’re now reclassifying the LCS as a “Battle Cruiser.”

    • Duane

      The LCS has been doing this in test fires for at least 3 years now. The Navy is about to buy a slug of Kongsberg NSMs that have about double the range of the Harpoons, which are the only ASM now qualified on DDGs and CGs. The NSM also has a much more sophisticated seeker than the Harpoon, and is actually capable of dodging incoming counterfire from the target. Despite the large number of VLS cells on CGs and DDGs, most of those are filled with anti-air and land attack missiles, along with ASROC ASW missiles. Hence the Harpoon canister deck launchers on DDGs as the main anti-ship weapon, which are virtually identical to the LCS cannister deck launchers … which are in the process of being modified and qualified to carry LRASM on LCS, a very long range and large stealthy ASM with the world’s most advanced seeker.

      • BlueSky47

        CNO announces new way to get to 355 ship goal, strap Harpoons on fishing boats and call them “Little combat ships” or LCS for short…

        • Duane

          I suggest you make your way to San Diego and stand outside the naval base gate holding a sign that says the same thing. You will no doubt endear yourself to the LCS officers and crew each day as they arrive to operate their little fishing boats.

  • Duane

    Uhhh … to answer your question, the LCS is already equipped with the world’s most capable defenses against small boat swarms and UAV swarms, and can also employ semi-autonomous UUVs (a part of its MCM package, but adaptable to other threats also), better than any DDG or CG.

    Fitting the OTH missiles and integrating them with the ship’s sensors and fire control systems is a natural outgrowth of distributed lethality.

    The Navy is already in the middle of an OTH buy, and the likely winner is the Kongsberg-Raytheon NSM, which will provide the longest ranged ASM on any US naval warship. In the works, successfully tested last month is a modified canister deck launcher to fire the LRASM, which boosts range up to at least 350 nm with a 1,000 pound warhead, and as much as 1,000 nm with a smaller (300 pound) warhead.

    • BlueSky47

      “world’s most capable” Have you all noticed that Duaney says “world’s most capabe” when discussing any aspect of the LCS. Next thing you know he’s going to say the LCS has “the world most capable galley,” “world most capable bunks,” world’s most capable admiral cruiser,” etc. etc.

      • Duane

        No – I only use the term where it applies.

        • BlueSky47

          ….in your own little reality

  • TheFightingIrish

    Why only 4 missiles? Is there weight issue at that location?

    • Duane

      This particular launcher on the Coronado is mounted on the bow foredeck, which bow is very “fine” for purposes of the high speeds and tri-hull design of the Independence class hulls. So yes, there is presumably a weight limitation at that location. The launcher is a sort of “first cut”, and the design of launchers for the other LCS is being modified to handle not only the mid-weight Harpoons and NSMs but also the heavy weight LRASM. From what I have seen online, the Navy plans to adopt the heavy missile launcher and go to 8 cells (though perhaps in two separated 4-cell clusters), which is probably more easily accommodated forward on the Freedom class.

      If the Navy selects the Kongsberg-Raytheon NSM as now expected for the initial buy of OTH missiles for LCS under the current procurement, the NSMs weigh a lot less than the Harpoons (about 900 pounds vs. 1,400 pounds), so perhaps the Independence class may be able to up the bow launcher to 8 cells if restricted to the NSM, but that would also preclude LRASM. Perhaps the Independence class might use two 4-cell launchers, one fore and one aft, with the lightweight NSMs on the forward launcher and the LRASM on the aft launcher.

      • Phaeton

        ” the Navy plans to adopt the heavy missile launcher and go to 8 cells”
        Except,of course,that request for OTHWS pretty clearly states”2 to 4 cells”
        And one such system per planned ship.

        • Duane

          Each of the Navy’s existing angled cannister deck launchers for OTH ASMs, whether on the LCS or on the ABs, consists of 2 to 4 cells per launcher. To get to 8 cells means two 4-cell launchers. Or to get to 4 cells, use two 2-cell launchers –
          half point to starboard, half to port. Exactly as are the twin 4-cell launchers mounted today on DDG-51s, and the twin 2-cell launchers as mounted today on the Coronado. Look at the photos before you post really inane things.

          • Phaeton

            “To get to 8 cells means two 4-cell launchers. ”
            Too bad that only forty of them is going to be produced,which coincides quite nicely with number of produced FCS,and,oh,the planned number of FFG and LCS.
            Oh,but there is more.At this time cell number is not actually finalized.It’s entirely possible that LCS will get two-cell launcher.A single one.
            Which is better than nothing…i guess…Certainly it won’t make LCS any less capable,because that’s not frikkin possible.

          • Duane

            You’re just inventing stupid stuff … really, quit it dude. You’re just trolling.

          • Phaeton

            /facepalm
            When you’re conceding the argument,have the balls to just say so.

  • airider

    Folks, remove LCS from the discussion. The issues with the Harpoon are not an LCS issue.

    Ships have been firing Harpoon and hitting targets in tests since the 1970s, from OTH. The challenge with any OTH shot is being able to hit what you actually want to hit. The challenge at longer distances is even greater so longer range isn’t a benefit unless you off-set that with higher speed or other sensors that can send better information to the missile to compensate for target movement and sensor errors.

    What isn’t discussed in this article is anything about what additional capabilities were leveraged to allow Harpoon to perform differently than it has since the 1970’s. Having a Firescout involved in target ID is no different than having manned helicopters doing the same thing and this again is a capability that’s been around since the 1970’s. This was a Blk 1C missile, so no new capabilities were employed. Blk 3 was canceled so the datalink that would be needed for actual OTH targeting is not an option.

    If nothing was done different, than all it proves is that Harpoon can be strapped to just about anything and with the correct launch bearing and waypoints entered, before it’s fired, will most likely hit a target as long as the target doesn’t move too much.

    LCS in this instance could have been easily replaced with USS Puller (ESB-3) and accomplished the same results.

    I really couldn’t care that they fired Harpoon from an LCS since just about anything can. I also wouldn’t consider this a “success” for LCS since Harpoon is a known and well tested quantity and LCS didn’t do anything other than “not break” when Harpoon was fired.

    • John Locke

      Right, when I read the article I thought the same thing ……… this is nothing new. Now if they had modified the Harpoon with some optics in the nose or in flight target correction capability then there would be cause for patting NAVSEA on the back.

      • Duane

        Uhhh … did you manage to both not read the HEADLINE as well as the text of the article? While you also managed to ignore the first pic at the top of this page?

        What was demonstrated was that the long range targeting data was provided to the missile by a combination of a UAV – the MQ-8C Fire Scout – and a MH-60 manned chopper, working in combination. No other ship class in the world, let alone the US Navy, has a drone chopper that does what the MQ-8C does.

        • airider

          You’re funny Duane. Do some research on the Block 1C Harpoon and also see if anything new was added to the H-60 or Firescout to support what you think happened. Anybody with a faint understanding of these systems knows the headline is at best an exaggeration.

          • Duane

            You didn’t read it either. Go back and read the article, and look at the first picture at the top.

            This is the first time ever an antiship missile was fired using long range targeting data supplied by an unmanned aerial vehicle, the MQ-8. The fact that it was fired by a LCS is a reflection of the fact that the LCS is the only ship in the world equipped with a drone that does long range sensing and provides real time targeting data to anti-ship missiles.

            Really – read before typing. It always helps.

    • NavySubNuke

      Come on now — the fact that an LCS didn’t break before or during the harpoon being fired is actually a big success for the LCS program. They do have a tendency to eat their own engines after all.
      Don’t deny them their little victories – they are so few and far between that each must be celebrated!

      • Duane

        Well, that’s still much better than the “little victories” that consist only of snarkey sarcastic remarks by a small handful of internet commenters who denigrate the US Navy and the officers and sailors who work very hard every day and night to defend your butt.

        • NavySubNuke

          LOL – oh Duane, what a good little company man you are.

  • DaSaint

    What struck me here was the hint that the Navy intends to use the myriad of islands in the Pacific and ‘strike from the littoral shadows.’ A possible strategy is starting to take shape, whether we agree or not, with the limitations of the vessels as lightly constructed as they are.

    While they may be at risk in open ocean encounters, it appears that they have no intention of doing that, instead, they want to use the shallow depths and islands as clutter and cover, and use the UAVs for OTH targeting, all while the vessels are concealed.

    They want to use them as our own Anti-Acceas force. Shoot and scoot.

    • John Locke

      that’s nice ……… if the bad guys cooperate with your strategy.

      • Duane

        They don’t need to cooperate. They are just targets.

        • John Locke

          If your Pk was 1.0 you could make that boast and not sound ignorant.

    • Duane

      An ASM doesn’t care what kind of water it is fired from or over. It will still find its target and disable it. An ASM will disable a CG or DDG just as ably as it will a frigate or other small surface combatant. An LCS is every bit as capable of fighting an enemy surface ship as any of our CGs or DDGs. Though the bigger warships pack many more missiles, most of those missiles are used exclusively for anti-air and for ground attack, not ship to ship (SuW) battles. The LCS will soon be better equipped than its bigger sisters, actually, after the NSMs are purchased later this year (the procurement is already underway, and the NSM is the apparent winner) and installed on LCS. That’s because the NSM is a much better ASM than the Harpoons that the CGs or DDGs currently carry … not to mention in another 1-2 years when LRASM is installed on LCS, just as it will go on the bigger ships.

      Indeed, the LCS also has better SuW sensors than the earlier DDG51s which can only embark a chopper but don’t carry even one MH-60, and so are limited in sensing to the range of their surface search radars. The LCS continuously carries both a MH-60 and the unmanned MQ-8C FireScout, which greatly extends the sensor range of a surface warship. Which becomes ever more important as we place longer range ASMs like NSM and LRASM on the LCS.

      • Phaeton

        “. The LCS will soon be better equipped than its bigger sisters, actually, after the NSMs are purchased later this year”
        NSM will not,in fact,be purchased later this year.Navy’s request was very accurate with dates.
        Duane simply lies.
        ” installed on LCS”
        No installations is planned till 2019.
        “not to mention in another 1-2 years when LRASM is installed on LCS”
        LRASM will never be installed on LCS.Because Navy doesn’t need it there,and was pretty clear about it.

        • Duane

          Boy, I sure got this self-admitted rooskie worked up over stating facts that the Navy has already confirmed.

          As any can clearly see in the photos on this post, a 4-cell launcher system is already installed on the Coronado. The Coronado has already successfully fired both the Kongsberg-Raytheon NSM as well as the Harpoon. The installation of additional launchers on LCS will likely wait until the Navy finishes its development of the new heavy missile launcher for LRASM next year.

          The Navy and LM successfully test fired LRASM from a canister deck launcher at White Sands similar to the one shown in the photos above, but modified to fire the bigger/heavier LRASM, explicitly for the purpose of deploying LRASM to LCS when LRASM is officially operable. Media reports in many outlets quoted the Navy and LM officials stating that the next step is to mount the modified launcher on an LCS. Just google it . You can shout “lies” and “fake news” as often as the rest of your RT brethren and favorite POTUS do, but it doesn’t change the facts.

          There will be another OTH missile purchase sometime in the next two years give or take at which there will be multiple competitors in addition to Kongsberg-Raytheon, specifically LM with LRASM and Boeing with their upgraded Harpoon Block 2-ER. Possibly others. And those will be purchased and they will be deployed on LCS. The Navy had declared that is their plan for years now, going back to at least to before 2014 when it decided on its “distributed lethality” strategy in response to the development of the Chinese naval fleet..

          • Phaeton

            ” a 4-cell launcher is already installed on the Coronado”
            One-off demonstration system is entirely irrelevant to actual procurement.
            It’s possible to bolt Aegis Ashore to LCS.
            “The Navy and LM successfully test fired LRASM from a canister deck launch”
            And nobody cares,because LRASM won’t be fitted to LCS.Because only one system will be installed on both LCS and FFG.And it obviously isn’t LRASM.
            Possibility existed to fit LRASM there,however small.That possibility was squandered in favor of that NSM derivative junk.
            “but it doesn’t change the facts”
            Yes.The facts are:no LRASM for LCS.No 8-cell ASM launcher for it,either.
            There is a possibility of FFG being equipped with 8 cells,but considering that at this time FFG doesn’t exist in any way,shape or form…
            “There will be another OTH missile purchase sometime in the next two years give or take ”
            No,there won’t be.Because unlike you,the Navy isn’t stupid and usually sticks with it’s decisions.Procurement of OTHWS might be downsized though.
            ” And those will be purchased and they will be deployed on LCS. ”
            Stop pulling stuff from your rear end.You’re nobody.You can’t see the future.As of now,common complaint by LM and Boeing was that LCS should have different and/or multiple ASM systems,to which was openly stated THAT BOTH LCS AND FFG WILL USE THE SAME SYSTEM,and only that system.Specifically,winner of OTHWS competition…and LRASM aren’t there.Nor is Harpoon.
            LCS is stuck with castrated NSM derivative,assuming the contract will be signed,after all.And it isn’t now.

          • Duane

            Man, what is it like to be a person devoid of any common sense, whose only mission in life is to troll American defense websites crying BS on literally every single element of the US military.

            Your boss Vlad must be scared you-know-whatless to pay trolls to do this as a substitute for, you know, having a real, functional, lethal first world military force. It must suck to be you.

          • Phaeton

            “crying BS on literally every single element of the US military”
            While this is obviously untrue,i still have to ask:how is it any worse than shill obviously unsalvageable program?
            No matter how much you lie about things like “missiles are getting installed now!”or”LRASM is both good and will be on LCS”you’ll obviously can be proven wrong by two looks at two respective documents.
            What’s the point?

      • BlueSky47

        “An LCS is every bit as capable of fighting an enemy surface ship as any of our CGs or DDGs.” So say Duane. But in some near future time, sailor “Duane” is given a choice of assignment to face the oncoming enemy fleet, either serve on a Arleigh Burke destroyer or a littorial combat ship-he choose the LCS. When asked why, he wouldn’t choose a tough battle proven and very capable warship over the fragile do-nothing tin-foil little boat with zero weapons or capabilities, he reply was “becasue it’s shiny.” 😛

        • Duane

          No – I’d choose to serve in what I actually did serve in during the Cold War … a SSN. But since submarines cannot do everything, then capable surface warships are needed. With the proper manning and training, proper sensors and fire control, and proper munitions the size of the platform matters not a bit. That’s why a lowly little attack aircraft like a Super Hornet carrying LRASM can take out any ship on the ocean … and a somewhat bigger B-1B loaded with LRASMs can takeout an entire squadron of ships. Even a small team of grunts on the ground can fire long range artillery, or be equipped with a LRASM launcher, and still take out a ship on the ocean.

          In the 21st century, size doesn’t matter. He who senses first, and shoots first, with the smartest missile, is going to win most if not all the time.

          The missile does not care which platform fired it.

        • Murray

          A new weapon has just been introduced to counter the Arleigh Burke class destroyers. It is called the LMS (large merchant ship).

  • El Kabong

    “that the same old snarkey commenters are making the same old snarky comments, while completely whiffiing on the meaning and import of this fire.”

    You’re here.

    • Duane

      Calling out snark is not snark.

      • El Kabong

        Irony is utterly lost on you.

        • Duane

          There is no irony. Calling out snark isn’t snark.

          • El Kabong

            LOL!

            Oh, the irony of you, of all people, talking about snark.

            Seems the moderator agrees with me,

  • publius_maximus_III

    With all due respect for this successful USN test (and every success advances the cause) I think the people of nearby Guam would have been more interested in seeing an AEGIS equipped DDG-51 show up off-shore and demonstrate its NK ICBM fly swating capabilities.

  • Rhino601

    “…and this complex shot demonstrates why LCS has Combat as its middle name.” So, it is a combatant?

    • BlueSky47

      don’t insult the mightly littoral combat battleship, Duane-y will come down you like an exhaling ballon 😛

  • BlueSky47

    Once we all understand that Duane-y gets paid per word he writes, then he makes sense. So, let’s all help Duane-y make a living here and state more facts for him to argue, with his own little realities of “bar none,” “most capable,” “best anywhere,” “best equipped,” “most capable,” “better than a destroyer,” blah blah blah 😛

  • Secundius

    Ahhh, “Boghammar’s” have Twin “AMOS” 120mm Breach-Loading Auto-Mortars rated at 12-rpm/mortar. With a Effective Range of ~10,000-meters. CIWS would only engage Targets within 4,000-meters and required a Cooling Cycle for every 3-Second Burst Fired. Or you’d Damage the Barrels by Overheating them…

  • Secundius

    The last time an Areigh Burke class Destroyer was engaged in Battle with a Go-Fast (DDG-67, USS Cole) in 12 October 2000. USS Cole was nearly SUNK by a Slow Moving Go-Fast doing about 4kts. And the Go-Fast WASN’T Armed with a Twin AMOS 120mm Auto-Mortar either…

  • Secundius

    “Freedom” at least has a Steel Hull!/? And “Indy” is a Trimaran Hull, at most the Go-Fast would have Damaged one of the Outrigger Hulls. Keep in Mind that the UAE JSHV was hit by an SSM off the Yemenese Coast, and DIDN’T Sink even with an Aluminum Hull. And out of a Crew of 34, 2 were killed and one was wounded in the Missile Explosion. And ALL three vessels are also Protected with ~2.5-inches (64mm) of Ballistic Kevlar-29 Armor Composites…

  • Duane

    Then you would not be nearly as well protected, as you would be relying on short range unguided munitions rather than medium range precision guided munitions. The performance of the latter is vastly better than the performance of the former, proven in combat over the last two decades. SM-2 is not an own ship’s anti-ASCM – it’s an area air defense, designed to protect other ships like CVNs, which is the role of the CGs and DDGs, and is not the role of the LCS or any SSC in the world today. SeaRAM is the best CIWS for ASMs in the world today, which is why the Navy is putting it on our most valuable ships, the CVNs, and is starting to equip the newest DDGs with it.

    Your 5-in gun fires only unguided rounds, and is very slow firing, about 1/3 or less the firing rate of the Mk 110 57 mm, which uses precision guided munitions effective against both small craft as well as UAVs. And the LCS SuW package also features a 16-cell Hellfire vertical launcher, along with twin 30mm mounts for close in work.

    Steel or aluminum doesn’t matter – any ASM that hits your ship is going to disable it, period. The defense against ASM

  • Duane

    The DDGs are poorly equipped for fighting off small boat swarms – that is,many many perhaps dozens of small craft going in all directions at very high rates of speed, any of which can fire missiles (most commonly now ATGMs). The 5 in gun only fires unguided rounds, is very slow firing, you basically have to hit the boat – good luck on that. The 57mm munitions used precision guided rounds with proximity fuses – literally one shot, one kill for a small craft.

  • Secundius

    And the SM-1 wasn’t an Air-to-Surface Missile either!/? But in Vietnam the SM-1 was a Great ASM in the ” Wild Weasle” role…

  • Rhino601

    Malaysia just launched an LCS. The 3,100-ton ship incorporates stealth characteristics, and its
    primary armament consists of a single BAE Systems Mk3 57mm gun in a
    stealthy turret; a 16-cell Sylver vertical launching system for the MBDA
    VL MICA surface-to-air missile; and a pair of quadruple launchers for
    the Kongsberg anti-ship Naval Strike Missile. Additionally, a pair of
    MSI Seahawk 30mm cannons and two J+S Marine triple torpedo launchers are
    also fitted.

    The ship’s electronics suite includes the Thales Smart-S Mk2 3-D
    surveillance radar and Captas-2 variable-depth sonar, while Rheinmetall
    will supply the TMX/EO Mk2 fire-control radar and TMEO Mk2
    electro-optical tracking systems for the ships.

    5.000 nmi endurance. Speed >28 knots.

    Hmmmmm

    • BlueSky47

      and I bet it costs half as much as the LCS