As part of Cooperation Afloat and Readiness Training (CARAT) 2015, the amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) embarked 13 specially-trained Navy personnel from the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) – Far East Detachment in Okinawa.
The team of Sailors brought with them an arsenal of five BQM-74E rocket propelled drones, similar in appearance to small tomahawk missiles. These specially designed drones launch and fly maneuvers mimicking the profiles of an inbound hostile missile, allowing surface ships to engage the drone and test their self defense counter-measures and weapons systems.
As one of the planned bilateral events for CARAT 2015, the team was tasked to launch a drone from Germantown’s flight deck to conduct a missle-targeting exercise with the Indonesian Navy. They would then remotely control the drone to simulate attacks on KRI Diponegoro, a partnering Indonesian warship. Diponegoro stood ready to track and engage the target, exercising their tactical proficiency, sensors and self defense systems.
The drone circled the targeting area, completing three target presentations for Diponegoro. While it was not shot down, the exercise was still considered a success because of the tangible tactical training received and teamwork and collaboration to plan the event between the two countries. The drone ended the flight by deploying its parachute and descending safely back to the surface. Germantown then recovered the drone using the ship’s small boat and crane.
Image: US Navy