A flotilla of coastal patrol (PC) ships launched four missiles at target sleds last week to test the operational capability of the system.
Each missile fired resulted in a successful test of the system and destruction of the target, the U.S. Navy said in a release.
The U.S. Navy recently completed the installation of the Griffin Missile System (GMS) aboard USS Firebolt (PC 10), USS Sirocco (PC 6), USS Typhoon (PC 5) and USS Whirlwind (PC 11), which represent four of the eight U.S. 5th Fleet PC force.
PC crews are quickly mastering the new weapon.
“The entire Griffin system has proven to be a reliable and accurate weapon system that has a relatively low training threshold requirement,” said Capt. Joe Naman, commander, Destroyer Squadron 50. “After only a few days of hands-on training, operators are confident in their ability to operate and execute engagements with the Griffin missile.”
GMS not only significantly extends the range of the PC’s self-defense capability, but also enhances the performance of core mission sets like maritime infrastructure protection, escort duties and defense of commercial shipping, according to U.S.Navy.
“The coastal patrol force greatly enhances U.S. Navy capacity to conduct more partnered and more complex operations and exercises with our Arabian Gulf allies and other coalition members,” said Naman. “We continue to modernize our patrol boat force to match our partners and maximize our defensive capabilities”
Guided missiles like the Griffin give a greater punch to the PC’s and will be used alongside existing crew-served weapons and the 25mm MK 38 Mod 2 stabilized chain guns. This layered defense provides PC crews with an enhanced capability to defeat small boat threats, the Navy said.
GMS consists of a government-designed launcher and weapons control system, Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) Systems’ BRITE Star II sensor/laser designator, and Raytheon’s Griffin B (Block II) missile.
Adapted from aviation and special operations platforms, the 43-inch-long, 33-pound missile has proven itself to be lethal against small boat threats.
All ten Bahrain-based PCs will be outfitted with GMS by 2016.
PCs are in Bahrain based on a strong demand signal for increased Maritime Security Operations in this region.
Press Release, April 4, 2014; Image: Wikimedia