The US-Navy’s Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) has carried out a live-fire missile test off the coast of Virginia.

As part of the exercise, the navy ship fired four Longbow Hellfire missiles that successfully hit fast inshore attack craft targets.

During the test, crew members of LCS 5 created a scenario simulating complex combat environments. They used radar and other systems to track small surface targets, simulated engagements and finally fired the Hellfire missiles against the surface targets.

The test-firing marked the conclusion of Phase I of the surface-to-surface missile module (SSMM) developmental testing (DT) for the LCS mission modules (MM) programme and was the second at-sea launch of SSMM missiles from a US Navy LCS.

“We look forward to conducting the next phase of SSMM testing onboard USS Detroit.”

With initial operational capability (IOC) and fielding expected next year, the SSMM helps leverage the Longbow Hellfire missile in a vertical launch capability to attack and destroy small boat threats.

LCS Squadron Two US Navy captain Shawn Johnston said: “The east coast littoral combat team continues to grow and mature with two Freedom variant LCSs arriving annually in Mayport.

“We look forward to conducting the next phase of SSMM testing onboard USS Detroit (LCS 7).”

The USS Milwaukee is a fast, agile, mission-focused vessel specifically designed to carry out operations both in near-shore and open-ocean environments. The vessel is capable of defeating asymmetric ‘anti-access’ threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines, and fast surface craft.

Homeported at Naval Station Mayport, the LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship that has been deployed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral region.