US Navy’s Gabrielle Giffords LCS launches Naval Strike Missile

3 October 2019 (Last Updated October 3rd, 2019 11:34)

The US Navy’s Independence-class littoral combat ship, USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), has fired a Naval Strike Missile (NSM) during exercise Pacific Griffin in the waters near Guam.

US Navy’s Gabrielle Giffords LCS launches Naval Strike Missile
Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) launches a Naval Strike Missile (NSM) during exercise Pacific Griffin. Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Kenneth Rodriguez Santiago/Released.

The US Navy’s Independence-class littoral combat ship, USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), has fired a Naval Strike Missile (NSM) during exercise Pacific Griffin in the waters near Guam.

USS Gabrielle Giffords successfully demonstrated the capabilities of the long-range precision strike weapon, which is designed to find and deal with enemy ships at distances of up to 100nm.

The biennial Pacific Griffin is a bilateral exercise intended to bolster ties between the navies of the US and Singapore.

Pacific Griffin was first conducted in 2017 and seeks to improve the combined proficiency of the navies at sea. It began on 24 September and will run until 11 October.

USS Gabrielle Giffords commanding officer commander Matthew Lehmann said: “Today was a terrific accomplishment for USS Gabrielle Giffords crew and the navy’s LCS class. I am very proud of all the teamwork that led to the successful launch of the NSM.”

The NSM can fly at sea-skimming altitude and has terrain-following capability. It is equipped with an advanced seeker to allow for precise targeting in challenging conditions.

Logistics Group Western Pacific commander rear admiral Joey Tynch said: “LCS packs a punch and gives potential adversaries another reason to stay awake at night.

“We are stronger when we sail together with our friends and partners, and LCS is an important addition to the lineup.”

The NSM weapon aboard the Independence-class LCS is fully operational. The navy first launched the weapon on LCS USS Coronado during a demonstration off the coast of California in 2014.

The navy said in a statement that the anti-ship weapon meets the requirements of lethality and ease of upgrade, as well as for survivability against high-end threats and long-range strike capability.

Gabrielle Giffords is on a deployment to the US Seventh Fleet area. The LCS will take part in exercises and operate alongside partner navies to ensure security in the Indo-Pacific region.

Last month, General Dynamics Mission Systems integrated a new anti-ship and land-attack cruise missile system onto LCS 10.