Engineering development tests of modified Longbow
Hellfire missiles for use on Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) were successfully
conducted in June the Navy reported today.
Integration of the Longbow Hellfire missile system,
designated the Surface-to-Surface Missile Module (SSMM), will increase the
lethality of the Navy's fleet of Littoral Combat Ships. The SSMM is expected to
be fully integrated and ready to deploy on LCS missions in late 2017.
"This test was very successful and overall
represents a big step forward in SSMM development for LCS," said Capt.
Casey Moton, LCS Mission Modules program manager.
Termed Guided Test Vehicle-1, the event was designed to
specifically test the Longbow Hellfire launcher, the missile, and its seeker
versus High Speed Maneuvering Surface Targets (HSMSTs). The HSMSTs served as
surrogates for Fast Inshore Attack Craft
that are a potential threat to Navy ships worldwide.
During the mid-June tests off the coast of Virginia, the
modified Longbow Hellfire missiles successfully destroyed a series of
maneuvering small boat targets. The system "hit" seven of eight
targets engaged, with the lone miss attributed to a target issue not related to
the missile's capability. The shots were launched from the Navy's research
The test scenarios included hitting targets at both
maximum and minimum missile ranges. After a stationary target was engaged,
subsequent targets, conducting serpentine maneuvers were engaged. The tests
culminated in a three-target "raid" scenario. During this scenario
all missiles from a three-shot "ripple fire" response struck their
Integration of the "fire-and-forget" Longbow
Hellfire missile on LCS represents the next evolution in capability being
developed for inclusion in the Increment 3 version of the surface warfare
mission package for LCS. When fully integrated and tested, each 24-shot missile
module will bring added firepower to complement the LCS's existing 57mm gun, SEARAM
missiles and armed MH-60 helicopter.
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, with three types
of mission packages including surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and
anti-submarine warfare. The Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships (PEO
LCS) is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities
to the fleet. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing
affordability and capability is key to supporting the nation's maritime