PACIFIC OCEAN – Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) conducted a live-fire exercise by launching RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) June 27 in preparation for its upcoming deployment.
The Peleliu ARG, which consists of the USS Peleliu (LHA 5), USS Rushmore (LSD 47) and USS Green Bay (LPD 20), is underway conducting pre-deployment training exercises off the coast of Southern California with the RAM launch as one of the major evolution.
“Testing the RAM system allows us to flex our watch teams and pre-planning responses, ensuring the watch teams know that the missile system works,” said Chief Fire Controlman Martin Soto, Peleliu’s Combat Systems’ CF division leading chief petty officer.
The RAM is a lightweight, quick-reaction, fire-and-forget missile designed to destroy anti-ship cruise missiles and asymmetric air and surface threats. Aboard Peleliu, this is the first time since 1995 the ship fired RAM.
“It rarely ever gets tested. The importance of the live fire exercise is to give the watch teams faith that it will work when called upon,” Soto said.
“Since it is a fire-and-forget missile, the RAM does not need radar to align itself, requiring no test fire,” said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Adolfo Macias, one of Peleliu’s RAM technicians. “I was excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the RAM shoot, because not many RAM techs can say that they had the opportunity.”
A remote controlled missile drone was flown at the ships and acted as an enemy to be targeted. Peleliu was the first to engage onto a target.
“The firing went very well. We picked up the missile as it started emitting, and followed it in for the shot. I would call it a textbook perfect engagement,” said Fire Controlman 1st Class Jack Kemp, Peleliu’s Combat Systems’ CF division leading petty officer.
Rushmore engaged with its opportunity to target a missile drone that flew in its way with another successful launch of its RAM.
“We spent countless hours running various scenarios. We have practiced with the full combat systems suites doing complicated detect to engage scenarios to injecting our own "hostile targets" into the system for gunnery practice.” Kemp said.
a live-fire exercise The RIM-116 RAM is designed as an all-weather, high-firepower, low-cost, self-defense system against anti-ship missiles. It uses the infrared seeking of the Stinger missile and the warhead, rocket motor, and fuse from the Sidewinder missile. Due to its high-tech radio-to-infrared frequency guidance system, it requires no shipboard support after the missile is launched.