The US Navy’s Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush (CVN 77) has concluded a live-fire test of the RIM-116 rolling airframe missile (RAM).

The missile launch was carried out as part of the live fire with a purpose (LFWAP) exercise. The US Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) led the exercise.

During the LFWAP, CVN 77 identified, traced, and engaged drone targets and proved the accuracy and capability of its weapons systems aboard.

It also helped to validate the readiness of the crew to deliver lethal combat capability.

George HW Bush fire control officer and chief warrant officer 3 (CWO3) Benjamin Wappelhorst said: “There was a lot of focused training and intense maintenance in the weeks leading up to this event.

“This evolution should instil confidence in every sailor aboard that our ship’s self-defence system is ready to go and will keep us safe during deployment.

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“The equipment is operational and our tactically minded watch standers in Combat Direction Centre are prepared for any threat.”

A lightweight surface-to-air missile, RIM-116 RAM is used as a point-defence weapon against anti-ship cruise missiles.

For the first time in three years, the aircraft carrier launched a missile. This is also the first coordinated exercise with Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26.

In addition, George HW Bush completed Tailored Ship’s Training Availability (TSTA) and Final Evaluation Problem (FEP) in cooperation with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10.

The CSG-10 and CVW-7, along with the carrier, will join DESRON-26 and the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55).

This will mark the start of Optimized Fleet Response Plan’s advanced and integrated phases, including Group Sail, a combined exercise.