USS Coronado to Demonstrate Over-the-Horizon Missile at RIMPAC
There have been a number of exciting things happening in the world of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) lately. From the successful completion of USS Jackson (LCS 6)’s first Full Ship Shock Trials to PCU Detroit (the future LCS 7)’s upcoming commissioning, the positive momentum of LCS is continuing as Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) transits to participate in the U.S. Navy’s Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise beginning June 30.
RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise. It provides a unique training opportunity to help participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security of the world’s oceans. While at RIMPAC, Coronado is scheduled to become the first LCS to demonstrate the ability to launch a Block III Harpoon missile.
Originally developed in the early 1970’s, the Harpoon missile was created to serve as the Navy’s basic anti-ship missile. The missile is an all-weather, anti-ship, over-the-horizon (OTH) system that can be launched from multiple platforms to engage a wide variety of land-based targets. It’s also capable of locating and destroying enemy ships at distances up to 100 nautical miles.
The Harpoon uses a small, active radar homing system in the nose of the missile to guide it in a low-level, sea-skimming cruise route, making it nearly undetectable to adversaries while improving the warhead’s survivability. Once the radar system identifies its target, it will pilot the missile for a precise impact – detonating a 500-pound warhead with lethal firepower.
The demonstration at RIMPAC will show how the Harpoon missile can be utilized on one of the Navy’s newest platforms, the LCS. Still evolving, LCSs were designed as multi-mission ships capable of operating in a wide-range of environments, from the open ocean to coastal and littoral waters. Testing and expanding the capabilities of LCSs will likely continue as the Naval Surface Force focuses on building their offensive capabilities in line with the principles of Distributed Lethality.
USS Coronado (LCS 4) left her homeport of San Diego on June 22 and is scheduled to begin a planned deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility at the conclusion of RIMPAC.