The US Navy has successfully test fired the Raytheon-built Griffin B missile from a Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launcher, demonstrating its sea-based anti-ship capability.

Raytheon Missile Systems’ Air Warfare Systems product line vice president Harry Schulte said that Griffin enables sailors to defend against small, fast-moving surface craft employed by pirates and other non-traditional threats.

"Griffin provides warfighters with a powerful capability that is ready today without the time and expense of development because the weapon is mature, in production and combat proven," Schulte added.

During the naval-launch demonstration, the land-based RAM launcher successfully launched the GPS and laser guided Griffin missile, which scored a direct hit on the static target located more than 3km away, achieving all desired objectives of the demonstration.

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The forward-firing missile, Griffin B has been designed for launch from rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft as well as for ground-launch applications.

With a proven record of successful rapid integration, the Griffin provides warfighters’ the capability to engage targets through a user-friendly graphic interface and uses GPS coordinates or laser designation to guide the weapon to the target.

The user can also engage the target by selecting features such as height of burst, point detonation or fuse delay in order to maximise the missile’s effectiveness.

Weighing 33lb, the 43inch-long Griffin carries a 13lb warhead and has undergone tests from a modified RAM launcher and also from C-130 platforms.

The aft-eject Griffin A missile, currently under production, can be integrated and employed from non-conventional platforms such as the C-130 Harvest Hawk aircraft.