LCS Surface Warfare Package Passes Live-Fire Test
The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Surface Warfare Mission Package successfully completed the second phase of its developmental testing, the Naval Sea Systems Command announced Nov. 7.
USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) conducted the testing at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division Point Mugu range off the coast of California, October 1-25. The objective of the testing was to prove the performance capabilities for surface warfare missions, validate recent upgrades and correct problems found in previous testing.
Preliminary analyses of the results indicate that overall test objectives were achieved, and the ship and mission package operated as expected.
“The achievement of this at-sea test milestone demonstrates that the surface warfare package meets its requirements,” said Capt. John Ailes, program manager for mission module integration for the Program Executive Office for Littoral Combat Ships. “It also shows the significant progress that the mission modules program has made toward providing an affordable surface warfare capability.”
The test events demonstrated the ship’s ability to detect, track and simulate engagement of air and surface threats. The final exercise was a live-fire event, where the ship demonstrated the ability to defend itself against several attacking speed boats. These boats were identified as a threat by the ship’s helicopter, which passed the information to the ship. Fort Worth then successfully engaged all targets with both the 30mm and the 57mm gun weapons systems, which reduced the attacking boats to smoking hulks.
The Initial Operational Test and Evaluation for the surface warfare mission package will be conducted in early 2014, and will be the final step in achieving initial operational capability.
The surface warfare mission package is designed to defeat small boat threats and also provides the capability for the ships to conduct maritime interdiction operations. The package consists of two 30mm guns, two 11-meter rigid hull inflatable boats, an MH-60R helicopter, a 19-person surface warfare detachment, and a 23-person aviation detachment.
The LCS’s permanent 57mm gun, and its speed and maneuverability, coupled with the 30mm guns of the SUW MP, provide the LCS a significant advantage over small boat threats.
PEO LCS is affiliated with the Naval Sea Systems Command and provides a single program executive responsible for acquiring and sustaining mission capabilities of the littoral combat ship class, from procurement through fleet employment and sustainment. The combined capability of LCS and LCS mission systems is designed to dominate the littoral battle space and provide U. S. forces with assured access to coastal areas.
Press Release, November 8, 2013; Image: Lockheed Martin