Five Cyclone-class coastal patrol ships from the US Navy’s (USN’s) Bahrain-based 5th Fleet Combined Task Force (CTF) 55 have completed a series of Mk 60 Griffin Missile System (GMS) live firings against high-speed manoeuvring targets during an exercise in the Gulf.
USS Hurricane (PC 3), USS Monsoon (PC 4), USS Sirocco (PC 6), USS Firebolt (PC 10), and USS Thunderbolt (PC 12) participated in the event from 16 to 18 September. Forming part of the larger US 5th Fleet Theater Counter Mine and Maritime Security Exercise, the fleet firings were designed to demonstrate the vessels’ ability to defend mine countermeasures vessels and other coastal patrol ships from potential surface threats.
The Mark 60 GMS comprises the Mk 4 battle management system, the Mk 208 Griffin launcher module, a laser targeting system (using the FLIR Systems’ BRITE Star II multi-sensor electro-optical turret), and the Raytheon BGM-176B Griffin B all-up-round. Using a combination of GPS-aided inertial guidance and a semi-active laser seeker for precision attack, the Griffin B missile is effective out to a range of 3 n miles (5.5 km). Both single and salvo launches can be performed.
Installation of the Mark 60 GMS on board the Cyclone-class ships was approved in June 2011 as a rapid deployment capability leveraging existing government off-the-shelf, commercial off-the-shelf and non-developmental items. Maritime testing for the system began in March 2012.
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