The U.S. Navy has released footage from recent exercise in the Arabian Gulf that showed tests of the MK-60 Griffin guided-missile system.
“The exercise demonstrated a proven capability for the ships to defend against small boat threats and ensure maritime security through key chokepoints in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points,” the Navy message states.
The annual exercise was conducted with the improved Griffin Missile System (GMS) to test ship interoperability, weapon tactics employment, and new system upgrades.
“This system improves combat capability on our 10 Patrol Craft, ready to work with regional partners and respond to threats; able to maneuver and strike from a distance,” said Vice Adm. Jim Malloy, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S 5th Fleet.
Exercise participates included Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) patrol coastal ships USS Sirocco (PC 6), USS Tempest (PC 2), USS Squall (PC 7), USS Hurricane (PC 3), USS Whirlwind (PC 11) and island class patrol boats USCGC Adak (WPB-1333), USCGC Aquidneck (WPB-1309), and USCGC Baranof (WPB-1318).
“The data collected from this year’s exercise will help improve the GMS to provide increased lethality amongst our FDNF ships,” Lt. Cmdr. Ronald Jenkins, commanding officer of the Sirocco. “Each participating ship can apply lessons learned to sharpen individual tactics and procedures to increase precision in weapons employment.”
Eager to integrate and demonstrate the upgraded GMS into their ships’ systems, each captain was impressed with its capabilities and the crew’s performance during the exercise.
The new ship-based version of Griffin missile was designed to find enduring countermeasures to defeat enemy speedboats harassing shipping in international seas and straits.
According to CNBC, for years the U.S. Navy has complained about Iranian speedboats harassing shipping in the Persian Gulf. These fast attack boats are often commanded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
For decades, Iranian military honing so-called “swarm tactics”, deploys large numbers of relatively unsophisticated systems at sea. The idea is to overwhelm American forces, much in the way a single bee is a nuisance to a human being but a swarm of them could prove lethal.
It should be stated, the exercise conducted amid recent news of another incident, when twenty Iranian Revolutionary Guard small craft ‘harassed’ the U.S. aircraft carrier strike group Abraham Lincoln during its transit the Strait of Hormuz.