The US Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) has tested its close-in weapons system (CIWS) during the combat system ship qualification trial (CSSQT), air-towed drone unit (TDU) gun exercise (GUNEX).
During the GUNEX event, the CIWS, a radar-guided 20mm six-barrelled M61 Vulcan Gatling gun, was able to successfully track and fire at a Learjet-towed TDU approaching at a rate of more than 250k.
Theodore Roosevelt combat systems department CS-7 division CIWS leading chief petty officer Timothy Butler said: "The CIWS is Theodore Roosevelt’s last line of defence against incoming anti-ship missiles."
The TDU was used to simulate the profile of an incoming missile and enable CIWS operators to use and test the equipment’s capabilities.
"We perform the TDU GUNEX to test the CIWS’s capability to detect, track, engage and evaluate an inbound threat," Butler added.
During GUNEX, which is performed when a ship starts workups toward deployment, fire controlmen use local and remote control stations to run CIWS and gun down a target.
"The typical CIWS detect-to-engage sequence lasts for a few minutes," Butler continued. "The final portion is the track-and-engagement sequence, which lasts seven to 20 seconds depending on the target profile."
The CSSQT is aimed at familiarising sailors with the weapons systems and equipment functions while improving combat readiness.
Image: USS Theodore Roosevelt test fires its CIWS during a live-fire gunnery exercise. Photo: courtesy of the US Navy, photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kris R. Lindstrom.