The US Navy's USS America (LHA 6) amphibious assault ship has completed a live-fire exercise by using its self-defence rolling airframe missile (RAM) system to destroy a drone.
The live-fire exercise was part of an Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Integration (PMINT) Training exercise, which aims to prepare the US Navy vessel for the country’s upcoming maiden deployment with the America Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).
USS America Combat Systems Department 2nd Class (SW / AW / IW) fire controlman Thomas Mirsky said: “The purpose of this exercise was to test the capabilities of the combat systems on board and to ensure they were fully operational.
“The exercise consisted of targeting our RAM to a drone strategically placed in the Pacific Ocean.”
The drone unit was placed to simulate a missile being fired at the US Navy ship, in order to test the vessel’s defence capabilities.
Mirsky added: “By testing the ship's defence capabilities, we gain confidence in our ability to defend not only the ship, but keep our sailors and marines safe and sound on-board.”
USS America (LHA 6) replaces the Tarawa-class of amphibious assault ships and is the first vessel of its class.
USS America is an aviation-centric amphibious assault ship homeported in San Diego, which is designed to support a wide range of marine aviation requirements, from the small-scale contingency operations of an expeditionary strike group to forcible entry missions in major theatres of war.
The US Navy vessel is currently underway, conducting Amphibious Squadron / Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration operations with more than 1,000 sailors and 1,600 embarked marines.