US Navy test fires Griffin missile systems from five coastal patrol vessels


Five of the US Navy's coastal patrol ships have successfully conducted the test firing of their MK 60 Griffin missile systems (GMS) in the Arabian Gulf.

GMS is a surface-to-surface missile system installed aboard Cyclone-class ships for self-defence purposes.

The coastal patrol ships launched the Griffin missiles at moving target sleds during the trial in order to demonstrate their potential for countering various surface targets such as small boats.

The five vessels that conducted the test firing were USS Tempest (PC 2), USS Squall (PC 7), USS Chinook (PC 9), USS Firebolt (PC 10) and USS Thunderbolt (PC 12). The ships were assigned to Patrol Coastal Squadron (PCRON) One.

PCRON One deputy commodore commander Chris Gilbertson said: “Conducting this test and executing this realistic exercise generates greater proficiency for the crews and provides the perfect venue to put their training to use.”

USS Firebolt (PC 10) commanding officer lieutenant commander Greg Page added: “This live fire event was an excellent opportunity for the crew to build proficiency in the use of the weapons system, as well as build confidence in capabilities of the system.

"Conducting this test and executing this realistic exercise generates greater proficiency for the crews and provides the perfect venue to put their training to use."

“Furthermore, hitting the target added to my operator's confidence in his own ability and bolstered the crew's understanding of the system itself.”

The participating vessels are five of the ten patrol coastal (PC) ships that have been forward deployed to Manama, Bahrain, and assigned to Task Force 55 in an effort to include US Navy coastal patrol ships and US Coast Guard cutters in operations. 

Task Force 55 is responsible for all surface forces in the US 5th Fleet area of operations.

The MK 60 GMS comprises a number of system components such as a Mark 4 battle management system (BMS), Mark 208 Griffin launcher module, AN/SSQ-133 BRITE Star II EO/IR, LRF and LD sensor and the BGM-176B Griffin B all-up-round (AUR).


Image: A Griffin missile launched from the coastal patrol ship USS Chinook (PC 9) during a test and proficiency fire. Photo: courtesy of US Navy by mass communication specialist 2nd Class Austin L. Simmons / Released.