The US Navy's second Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) has successfully performed the first live-fire over-the-horizon missile test using a Harpoon Block IC missile.
Conducted during the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016, testing proved the Harpoon missile's ability to operate from on-board a littoral combat ship, while providing essential engineering data to support future ship upgrades.
Fleet and industry partners such as designers, system design and sustainment experts, and installers, had partnered to quickly adapt and deploy the Harpoon missile aboard the LCS.
PEO IWS Harpoon lead captain Joe Mauser said: "The incorporation of an off-the-shelf Harpoon missile on USS Coronado in less than four months was no small feat and supports focus on accelerated learning to bring capabilities to the fleet faster."
Testing is part of the US Navy’s efforts to enhance the lethality and survivability of the LCSs, which includes demonstrating and deploying over-the-horizon capability on Coronado and USS Freedom (LCS 1) in the near-future.
Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) programme executive officer rear admiral Jon Hill said: "This Harpoon on USS Coronado supports the navy's larger distributed lethality concept to strengthen naval power at and from the sea to ensure the navy maintains its maritime superiority.”
In 2015, director of surface warfare rear admiral Peter Fanta ordered the incorporation of an in-service variant of the Harpoon Weapon System (HSLCLS 9/10 and Block 1C missile) aboard USS Coronado.
Harpoon is designed as an all-weather, over-the-horizon weapon system used for anti-ship missions against a range of surface targets.
It can be fired from surface ships, submarines and aircraft and is currently being used by 50 US Navy ships.
Image: USS Coronado launches a Harpoon Block 1C missile during RIMPAC 2016. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Lt Bryce Hadley/Released.