It’s really happening…
When the LCS was first proposed under the Streetfighter concept back in the day, everyone looked at the idea and thought it had at least some merit, especially for sea control with a growing number of surface challenges from in the Persian Gulf and South China Sea. But sea control involves having something bigger than a 57mm popgun and some 25’s to punch a hole in something over-the-horizon.
Well it looked like in the latest RIMPAC exercise, an LCS has finally gotten a Harpoon in the air. Of course it looks like a limited installation (topside weight issues?) such as seen on the Hamilton-class Coast Guard cutters of the 1990s, but it is still a Harpoon.
However, all may not be Harpoon forever.
On Monday Lockheed Martin completed the third of three test shots to prove that their air-launched 500-nm range Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) can be fired from a surface ship on the move, launching from a Mk41 installed on the ex-USS Paul Foster off Point Magu.
In other news, it seems like the target for the SINKEX was the recently retired OHP frigate USS Thach which took a hell of a lot of abuse as did USS Crommelin (FFG 37), who was Coronado‘s (missed) target. Rather a poetic statement come to think of it.
Meanwhile, the latest Independence-class LCS, USS Jackson, was the subject of explosive shock testing so serious that the USGS thought it was a 3.7m earthquake.