The littoral combat ship Milwaukee fired four Longbow Hellfire missiles, striking fast inshore attack craft targets on May 11, according to a Navy release on May 15.
The missile firing was the second time a Longbow was fired from sea. However, this firing was the first using the complete LCS surface-to-surface mission module.
The exercise wasn’t just a missile firing as the ship’s crew used simulation, along with their own radar and other tracking systems, to identify the small surface fast boats before firing the missiles.
“The crew of the USS Milwaukee executed superbly and the test team ran the event seamlessly, both were critical in making this event successful,” said Capt. Ted Zobel, LCS Mission Modules Program Manager said in the release.
The successful test completed the first phase of the surface-to-surface missile module developmental testing, the first fully integrated firing of these missiles using the module from an LCS.
Built around the Army’s Longbow Hellfire missile, the module launches the weapons vertically to counter small boat threats. Initial operational capability of the system and module is expected sometime in 2019.
The Milwaukee, homeported at Naval Station Mayport in Florida, visited Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story and Naval Station Norfolk. both in Virginia, from May 6-8 before heading out to sea for the tests.
Mark D. Faram is a former reporter for Navy Times. He was a senior writer covering personnel, cultural and historical issues. A nine-year active duty Navy veteran, Faram served from 1978 to 1987 as a Navy Diver and photographer.