WASHINGTON - In an effort to strengthen naval power at
and from the sea, Rear Adm. Jon Hill, Program Executive Officer for Integrated
Warfare Systems (IWS), advocated the importance of systems engineering and
"the power that comes from a full-on integration of those systems
[through] cooperative engagement modes" during a panel discussion at the
Navy League's Sea Air Space exhibition, May 17.
A recent example of such integration occurred when the
U.S. Navy successfully validated significant progression in the Fire Control
Loop Improvement Process (FCLIP) program through a live-fire test involving the
Ship's Self Defense System (SSDS) and Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Guided
Missile Weapons System at Point Mugu, California, in April.
FCLIP is designed to improve coordination across all
elements of the overall SSDS to accurately detect, control, and engage targets,
and represents an evolutionary improvement to the SSDS through increased
precision fire control and precision engagement to close the fire control loop.
"FCLIP is an essential pacing activity and will help
keep or carriers and amphibs safe in dangerous places," said U.S. Navy
Capt. Danny Busch, SSDS Major Program Manager. "Through selected near-term
upgrades, FCLIP is the first phase of a multi-phase approach which will allow
those ships to defeat real world anti-ship cruise missile threats by means of
planned incremental updates."
During the live fire test, the SSDS, using the RAM Guided
Missile Weapons System, MK 49 Launcher and the Block 2 missile, successfully
engaged and killed a pair of supersonic, maneuvering, sea-skimming targets
designed to represent current anti-ship
The test was the second successful integrated combat
systems firing event against this surrogate threat accomplished by the
shipboard air search radars and surface to air missiles found on U.S. Navy
amphibious ships. The integrated combat
system is comprised of the SSDS Mk 2 Mod 4B, SPS-48, SPS-49, SPQ-9B, SLQ-32,
Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, and the RAM Block 2 missile.
This test also represented the eighth successful RAM
Block 2 live fire test supporting its Developmental and Operational (DT/OT)
requirements since 2013.
"The RAM Guided Missile Weapons System continues to
meet operational performance requirements," said U.S. Navy Captain Craig
Bowden, RAM Major Program Manager.
"As the last missile line of defense for US warships, RAM Block 2
performance as part of the overall SSDS has proven it will defend our ships
against the most stressing maritime threats."
Currently, RAM protects over 50 U.S Navy platforms
including carriers, littoral combat ships, amphibious ships and most recently
USS Porter (DDG 78).
The RAM Block 2 missile has been in Low Rate Initial
Production in the U.S. since 2012 with first deliveries by Raytheon to the U.S.
Navy in June 2014. The U.S. Navy
achieved RAM Block 2 Initial Operational Capability (IOC) with the deployment
of RAM Block 2 missiles aboard the USS ARLINGTON (LPD 24) in May 2015. Full
rate production is expected by next year.
Program Executive Office (PEO) Integrated Warfare
Systems, an affiliated PEO of the Naval Sea Systems Command, manages surface
ship and submarine combat technologies and systems and coordinates Navy
enterprise solutions across ship platforms.
For more information on PEO IWS's role in supporting Navy cooperative engagement programs you can view the full panel discussion at