By Defense News. It can travel more than 100 nautical miles, passively detect an enemy through imaging stored in its computer brain and can kill a target so precisely that an operator can tell it to aim for a specific point on a ship — the engine room or the bridge, for example. And it’s heading to China’s stomping grounds.
The U.S. Navy littoral combat ship Gabrielle Giffords deployed Tuesday from San Diego, California, packing the service’s new Naval Strike Missile, transforming the LCS from an under-gunned concept ship gone awry to a legitimate threat to Chinese warships at significant ranges.
Giffords is the second LCS to deploy this year. The LCS Montgomery also deployed from San Diego in June after a 19-month lapse in LCS deployments as the Navy reworked the way it mans and trains crews for the ships.
Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. John Gay confirmed Giffords’ deployment, saying the ship got underway Sept. 3, equipped with the Naval Strike Missile and the newly mission-capable MQ-8C Fire Scout drone. The Fire Scout, an over-the-horizon surveillance and targeting platform, achieved its initial operational capability in June. . .
When equipped with the Raytheon/Kongsberg-made Naval Strike Missile, or NSM, and Northrop Grumman’s Fire Scout for surveillance over the horizon, an LCS sitting off the coast of Virginia Beach, Virginia, could destroy a ship sitting off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. That’s more than 30 miles further than the published range of the current anti-ship missile, the Harpoon, which is in excess of 67 miles. (Read more from “U.S. Navy Deploys New Ship-Killer Missile to China’s Backyard” HERE)
This Stealthy New Missile Just Reached One of the World’s Hottest Flash Points
By Investors. The Navy has reportedly deployed a new stealth missile from Raytheon (RTN) that’s designed to sink ships to the Pacific, where territorial disputes have escalated regional tensions.
The Naval Strike Missile was deployed aboard the USS Gabrielle Giffords, a littoral combat ship, earlier this week from San Diego, on its way to the Indo-Pacific theater, according to Defense News.
The new stealth missile is designed to destroy enemy ships from up to 100 nautical miles away, according to Raytheon, which made it with Norway’s Kongsberg.
The sea-skimming, terrain-hugging missile also emits low-observable signals to avoid detection by enemy radars and uses an advanced seeker for precise targeting, Raytheon says. It can perform evasive maneuvers to counter antimissile defenses as well. . .
The deployment of the Raytheon missile comes as the U.S. ramps up freedom-of-navigation exercises amid myriad territorial disputes in the Pacific, where China is building artificial islands as part of an exclusion zone. (Read more from “This Stealthy New Missile Just Reached One of the World’s Hottest Flash Points” HERE)