Motown LCS drops the Hellfires, um we mean SSMM
In an effort to give the Littoral Combat Ships some teeth against small boat threats and swarm attacks by the same, USS Detroit (LCS 7) last week pulled off structural test firing of 3 missiles from the Surface to Surface Missile Module (SSMM).
SSMM, part of the LCS’s Surface Warfare Mission Package, utilizes a 24-pack of the Army’s AGM 114L-8A Longbow Hellfire, which is traditionally air launched from drones and Apache gunships, and instead vertical launches it from the naval vessel.
The test marked the first vertical missile launched from an LCS and the first launch of a missile from the SSMM while mounted to an LCS.
“This was another positive step forward in fielding of the next increment for the SUW MP,” stated Capt. Ted Zobel, Mission Modules program manager. “The SSMM is a critical piece of the SUW MP and this event will allow us to move safely into developmental testing and soon to fielding this capability aboard LCS.”
The full Surface Warfare Mission Package, which includes two Mk46 30mm guns in the Gun Mission Module and the Maritime Security Module (11m Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat for Visit Boarding Search and Seizure), will begin developmental testing aboard USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) later this year with IOC in 2018.