The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) successfully engaged incoming aerial threats with its NATO Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) system during a Combat System Ship Qualification Trial (CSSQT), May 21.
TR launched multiple ESSMs to verify the defensive capabilities of the missile system are functional and effective.
“The ESSM is the ship’s outermost layer of protection used to defend against both surface and air hostiles,” said Fire Controlman 3rd Class Ezekiel Miller, from Los Angeles.
The ESSM is a surface-to-air and surface-to-surface semi-active missile with nearly twice the effective range as the standard NATO Sea Sparrow Missile (NSSM). The system gives TR a wider range of defense and attack capabilities, said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Brandon Thomas, from Atlanta.
“The launch went very well. We effectively tested the long range engagement of the system and successfully shot down a target,” said Thomas.
The ESSM tracked, fired at and hit a shore-launched aerial drone. The missile shoot required close cooperation between Combat Systems Department and TR’s Combat Direction Center (CDC).
“CDC conducted training all last week with scenarios using the ship’s self defense system simulated tracking system,” said TR’s Air Defense Weapons Coordinator Lt. David Rosa, a native of Natick, Mass.
The successful ESSM launch indicates that TR is ready to defend itself at sea.
Press Release, May 26, 2014; Image: US Navy