Independence variant LCS in SSMM testing
The US Navy has carried out a successful structural test firing of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Surface-to-Surface Missile Module (SSMM) at the Point Mugu Sea Range.
The test firing was carried out to assess the SSMM capability on the Independence variant LCS, following successful testing on the Freedom variant earlier this year.
The SSMM is one of four modules comprising the LCS Surface Warfare Mission Package. Using Longbow Hellfire missiles in a vertical launch capability to counter small boat threats, SSMM increases both the range and the number of targets LCS can engage.
Structural test firing is a total-ship test involving live weapons fire and is required for each ship class or variant. The exercise also prepares the ship and trains the crews for more complex surface warfare tracking and live-fire exercises to follow, which will culminate in initial operational test and evaluation at the end of 2019.
The Surface Warfare Mission Package also includes the Gun Mission Module, containing 30mm guns; the Maritime Security Module, with 11-metre rigid-hull inflatable boats; and the Aviation Mission Module, including an MH-60R Seahawk helicopter and a VTOL UAS.
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