The US Navy’s littoral combat ship USS Coronado live-fired a Harpoon block 1C missile beyond the ship’s visual range, aided by the embarked MQ-8B Fire Scout and the MH-60S Seahawk helicopter.
The US 7th Fleet said the firing took place off the coast of Guam on August 22, with the missile striking a surface target at “significant distance” beyond the ship’s visual range.
An MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial system and MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, both part of Coronado’s rotary-wing air detachment, provided targeting support for the harpoon missile.
Coronado’s successful strike on a target using the harpoon missile system follows a test fire of the harpoon that was conducted in July, 2016 during RIMPAC. Lessons from the RIMPAC test informed preparations and helped set the team up for success this time.
“USS Coronado’s success in a real-world deployment of the harpoon missile system is a result of how we are changing the way we operate and think about LCS,” said Capt. Lex Walker, commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7. “By focusing on how a deployed LCS fits in the larger maritime domain with regional partners, we are ensuring a secure and cooperative regional environment while increasing the ship’s capabilities.”
Harpoon is an all-weather, over-the-horizon weapon designed to execute anti-ship missions against a range of surface targets. It can be launched from surface ships, submarines and aircraft and is currently used on 50 US Navy ships: 22 cruisers, 21 Flight I destroyers, seven Flight II destroyers, and select littoral combat ships.