The US Navy's Arleigh-Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) has successfully conducted a Standard Missile (SM) firing exercise off the coast of Virginia.
Launched as part of testing of the latest version of the Aegis weapon system, the SM successfully destroyed a representative target during the event.
The missile firing event is a part of the destroyer’s overall test schedule to ensure the functionality of the entire combat system.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Jeffrey Goforth was entrusted with the responsibility of aligning the missile with the target.
Goforth said: "It is always exciting to fire a missile whether it is in training or in real life.
“These types of events are the key to prepare us to go into harm's way and to be able to defend the ship against any threat.
"I think we will only get better because we will go into a training phase where we will spend a large amount of time honing our skills."
USS Mitscher has recently completed an extended dry-dock selected restricted availability, which involved upgrading a significant portion of its combat system to the Aegis ACB-12, also known as Aegis Baseline 9 (BL 9).
The upgrade is expected to involve warfighting capabilities such as simultaneous anti-air warfare (AAW) and ballistic missile defence (BMD), called integrated air and missile defence (IAMD), naval integrated fire control-counter air (NIFC-CA).
Commissioned in 1994, USS Mitscher is the navy’s seventh Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer.
Propelled by four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines, the 154m-long USS Mitscher has a displacement capacity of 8,300t, can cruise at a speed of more than 30k, and is equipped with SM, missile launchers and other ammunition.
Image: USS Mitscher. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Lenny M. Francioni.