USS John Finn destroyer launches SM-6 missile at long-range target
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USS John Finn destroyer launches SM-6 missile at long-range target

27 Apr 2021 (Last Updated April 27th, 2021 14:45)

The US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG-113) has successfully launched an Extended Range Active Missile (SM-6) missile.

USS John Finn destroyer launches SM-6 missile at long-range target
The guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG 113) launches an Extended Range Active Missile (SM-6) UxS IBP 21. Credit: US Navy photo by Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Clark Lappert.

The US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG-113) has successfully launched an Extended Range Active Missile (SM-6) missile.

The missile was launched off the coast of San Diego on 25 April at the conclusion of the Unmanned Systems Integrated Battle Problem (UxS IBP) 21 exercise.

The SM-6 missile hit at a long-range target well beyond the line of sight (BLOS).

UxS IBP 21 lead live-fire planner lieutenant commander Ryan Doyle said: “The missile shoot was definitely challenging but ultimately incredibly rewarding. We were able to see our team’s planning efforts culminate in yesterday’s successful shoot.

“This entire exercise was a great opportunity to get staff exercise planners, programme designers and most importantly sailors to work together and integrate multiple unmanned capabilities that are tactically relevant in many areas of the world today.”

UxS IBP 21 is a week-long US Pacific Fleet exercise executed by US 3rd Fleet.

It involved the participation of surface, subsurface, and aerial unmanned assets, littoral combat ships (LCS), guided-missile destroyers (DDGs), guided-missile cruisers, submarines, as well as helicopter squadrons.

Destroyer Squadron 21 commodore captain T J Zerr said: “The integrated capabilities demonstrated this week are tactically crucial to improve our warfighting advantage.

“Unmanned technologies are being rapidly integrated into the Fleet for use, and our gained advantage is in the integration and collaboration between manned and unmanned capabilities tailored to the particular situation and phase of conflict.”

Last week, the US Navy showcased successful manned-unmanned teaming between an unmanned maritime surveillance aircraft system and other naval platforms.