US Navy coastal patrol ships conduct Griffin missile firing exercise

20 September 2018 (Last Updated September 20th, 2018 12:57)

The US Navy 5th Fleet’s Combined Task Force (CTF) 55 has carried out fleet firing exercises using the Griffin missile system (GMS) from its Cyclone-class coastal patrol ships.

US Navy coastal patrol ships conduct Griffin missile firing exercise
A Griffin missile launched from coastal patrol ship USS Thunderbolt. Credit: US Navy / Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin J Steinberg / Released.

The US Navy 5th Fleet’s Combined Task Force (CTF) 55 has carried out fleet firing exercises using the Griffin missile system (GMS) from its Cyclone-class coastal patrol ships.

During the event, CTF 55 conducted a series of missile and naval gun tests against high-speed manoeuvring targets.

Coastal patrol boats USS Firebolt (PC 10), USS Monsoon (PC 4), USS Thunderbolt (PC 12), USS Hurricane (PC 3) and USS Sirocco (PC 6) participated in the exercise.

The GMS fleet firing event has been designed to upgrade and improve the capability of the ships to defend minesweepers and other coastal patrol vessels from potential threats.

“Use of the missiles helps extend the range of self-defence capabilities of US Navy ships and increases their performance in carrying out primary missions.”

Commander Destroyer Squadron (COMDESRON) 50 / CTF 55 commodore captain Adan Cruz said: “This fleet firing event was a great opportunity for CTF 55 patrol craft to maintain proficiency and increase lethality against small boats.”

The surface-to-surface missile exercise provided sailors with an opportunity to train and improve their operational skills.

CTF 55 GMS fleet test director lieutenant commander Jimmy Harmon said: “We are conducting this event to give patrol craft an opportunity to gain valuable experience on their weapon systems. Griffin missiles extend their range and provide another tool in their arsenal.”

Use of the missiles helps extend the range of self-defence capabilities of US Navy ships and increases their performance in carrying out primary missions such as maritime security operations, escort duties, and defence of commercial shipping.

The Griffin missile firing event is being carried out as part of the larger US 5th Fleet Theater Counter Mine and Maritime Security Exercise.

Measuring 43in and weighing 34lb, the Griffin missile is a multi-platform, multi-service low-collateral-damage weapon system available in two variants, the aft-eject Griffin A and the forward-firing Griffin B.