Five coastal patrol ships (PC) that have been outfitted with the Griffin Missile System (GMS) conducted a test and proficiency fire June 26-28.
The patrol coastal ship USS Monsoon (PC 4) conducted the test fire while USS Typhoon (PC 5), USS Firebolt (PC 10), USS Sirocco (PC 6) and USS Whirlwind (PC 11) conducted a proficiency fire.
"The test and proficiency firing event is a great event for us," said Cmdr. Tom Shultz, commander, Patrol Coastal Squadron 1. "First, it requires planning coordination across task forces and various echelons throughout the Navy. Then it requires extensive system preparation and training to ensure our ships and Sailors are fully ready for the event. In the end, it makes us all more proficient at utilizing this system, making us prepared to go out on patrol and execute our assigned 5th Fleet missions."
Guided missiles like the GMS enhance the engagement capability of the PCs and will be integrated with existing crew-served weapons allowing the PCs to enhance their capability to defend themselves against small boat threats.
"The crews have done an outstanding job of implementing what is a somewhat new weapons system," said Shultz. "In-depth schoolhouse training before arrival to a PC and then continuous training once aboard is required to maintain proficiency for Sailors qualified to operate GMS. It’s a very capable and unique system, so it’s definitely worth it to put in the effort."
Adapted from aviation and special operations platforms, the GMS consists of a government-designed launcher and weapons control system, BRITE Star II forward looking infrared (FLIR) sensor/laser designator, and Griffin B (Block II) missile.
"GMS gives the PCs a surface-to-surface missile capability, that is able to defeat small boat threats, which may be beyond the effective range of the ship’s gun systems, giving the PCs additional defense in-depth capability when coupled with their two Mk 38 25mm chain guns and crew served weapons," said Shultz. "GMS is integrated with the BRITE Star optical sight which is used for identification, tracking and targeting."
The remaining five PCs in Bahrain are scheduled to receive the GMS by October 2015.