Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) USS Coronado has conducted a live-fire exercise of the GM-84D Harpoon Block 1C missile system near the coast of Guam on August 22.
The Harpoon missile, an all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile system, has reportedly destroyed a surface target at significant distance beyond the ship’s visual range, US Navy announced Tuesday.
Coronado’s firing of the harpoon over-the-horizon missile system demonstrates the lethality of LCS while deployed overseas.
“LCS will play an important role in protecting shipping and vital U.S. interests in the maritime crossroads,” said U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Don Gabrielson, the commander of Task Force 73.
A MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial system and MH-60S Seahawk helicopter reportedly provided targeting support for the Harpoon missile.
“Harpoon and Fire Scout showcase one of the growing tool combinations in our modular LCS capability set and this complex shot demonstrates why LCS has Combat as its middle name,” Gabrielson added.
The US Navy operates two LCS variants, the Independence and Freedom class. There have been repeated concerns over the LCS’ ability to perform in combat. For example, both LCS designs did not envision the need for anti-ship missiles.
The USS Coronado was the first LCS to be fitted with an advanced anti-ship missile system, the so-called Advanced Harpoon Weapon Control System (AHWCS) — two launcher structures installed athwartships.