The US Navy has successfully test-launched four Griffin missiles from its flotilla of coastal patrol (PC) ships.

During testing, which was designed to check the operational capability of the Griffin Missile System (GMS), four missiles were launched at target sleds, with each resulting in a successful destruction.

Destroyer Squadron 50 commander captain Joe Naman said that the system has demonstrated its reliability and accuracy with a relatively low-training threshold requirement.

"Four missiles were launched at target sleds, with each resulting in a successful destruction."

"After only a few days of hands-on training, operators are confident in their ability to operate and execute engagements with the Griffin missile," Naman said.

The PC ships, including USS Firebolt (PC 10), USS Sirocco (PC 6), USS Typhoon (PC 5) and USS Whirlwind (PC 11), which represent four of the eight US 5th Fleet PC force, were integrated with the GMS.

"The coastal patrol force greatly enhances US Navy capacity to conduct more partnered and more complex operations and exercises with our Arabian Gulf allies and other coalition members," Naman added.

"We continue to modernise our patrol boat force to match our partners and maximise our defensive capabilities."

In addition to significantly extending the range of the PC’s self-defence capability, the GMS improves the performance of core mission sets such as maritime infrastructure protection, escort duties and defence of commercial shipping.

When used alongside existing crew-served weapons and the 25mm Mk38 Mod 2 stabilised chain guns, the Griffin missiles offer layered defence.

Adapted from aviation and special operation platforms, the 43in-long, 33-pound missile has proven itself to be lethal against small-boat threats.

By 2016, the Bahrain-based, ten PCs will be deployed with GMS, which consists of a government-designed launcher and weapons control system, as well as the Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) Systems’ BRITE Star II sensor/laser designator, and Raytheon’s Griffin B (block II) missile.

Defence Technology