The US Navy’s Independence-class USS Coronado littoral combat ship (LCS 4) has successfully completed its initial operational testing and evaluation (IOT&E).
During testing, the LCS demonstrated its core anti-air warfare capabilities against an anti-ship cruise missile with a SeaRAM (rolling airframe missile) firing event.
The event was the second of the two successful SeaRAM firings from Coronado.
Additionally, the vessel was able to terminate an intended unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) target. The test team also completed 12 planned tracking events, all of which recorded satisfactory results.
LCS programme manager captain Tom Anderson said: "The successful testing on the Independence variant demonstrates the self-defence capabilities of the ship and systems, and instills confidence in Coronado as the ship prepares for its maiden deployment this summer."
The tests were co-ordinated by the Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) and Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS).
USS Coronado commanding officer Scott Larson said: "USS Coronado is designed to fight and win in contested waters, where high-end anti-ship cruise missiles pose a significant threat to naval forces.
"Today’s test validates the Independence variant’s ability to effectively neutralise those threats and demonstrates the impressive capability SeaRAM brings to our arsenal."
The SeaRAM system integrates close-in weapons system (CIWS) self-defence system’s radars and fire control system with the RAM to provide a capable, reduced manning anti-cruise missile and aircraft self-defence capability for US navy ships.
The LCS class vessels consist of Independence and Freedom variants, which are being designed and built by Austal and Lockheed Martin respectively. The US Navy is purchasing these vessels under a 20 ship block-buy acquisition strategy.
The modular, reconfigurable ships feature three types of mission packages, including surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare.
Image: SeaRAM test fired from guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78). Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo/Released.