The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) successfully launched the Naval Strike Missile (NSM), commonly known as a ship-killer missile, as part of shipboard operational testing and evaluation, March 19.
“The recent missile launches were a great accomplishment for Gabrielle Giffords and the LCS community,” said Cmdr. Michael Piano, commanding officer of Gabrielle Giffords’ Blue Crew. “I am especially proud of Gabrielle Giffords Blue and grateful for Surface Division Eleven’s support to score this win for our Navy.”
According to Raytheon Missiles & Defense’s website, the Naval Strike Missile is a long-range, precision strike weapon that seeks and destroys enemy ships at distances greater than 100 nautical miles. It immediately advances the U.S. Navy’s vision of distributed lethality, ensuring control and freedom of the seas.
As noted by the company, the NSM eludes enemy radar and defense systems by performing evasive maneuvers and flying at sea-skimming altitude. NSM uses an advanced seeker for precise targeting and carries a 500-pound class warhead with a programmable fuze.
The successful missile shoot demonstrates value for long-range anti-ship cruise missiles aboard LCS.
“It was an honor to successfully demonstrate our platform’s over-the-horizon lethality and I look forward to the capabilities NSM provides to the fleet,” said Chief Fire Controlman Jason Kloes, lead NSM operator of Gabrielle Giffords’ Blue Crew.
Littoral combat ships are fast, agile and networked surface combatants, optimized for operating in the near-shore environments. With mission packages allowing for tailored capabilities to meet specific mission needs and unique physical characteristics, LCS provides operational flexibility to combatant commanders.