During an exercise on an Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the Navy fired a missile from a Raytheon [RTN] SeaRAM launcher—the first time the anti-ship missile defense system has been used aboard an LCS.

The SeaRAM anti-ship missile defense system. Image: Raytheon
The SeaRAM anti-ship missile defense system. Image: Raytheon

SeaRAM combines features of two Raytheon products: the radar and electro-optical system from the Phalanx Close-In Weapon System with the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM), a self-guided supersonic missile that can take down cruise missiles and close-flying aircraft.

After the service used the SeaRAM to detect and track an inbound threat, sailors on the USS Coronado (LCS-4) fired a RAM block 1A from the system, which intercepted the target. The live fire exercise took place at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division sea range off the coast of California, the company stated in a news release.

“This test success marks a major milestone toward full operation and employment of the SeaRAM system on U.S. Navy ships,” said Rick Nelson, vice president of naval area and mission defense product line at Raytheon Missile Systems. “SeaRAM demonstrated that it is a vital weapon for defending navies against anti-ship cruise missiles, and provides warfighters with a capability found nowhere else.”

SeaRAM launchers have been installed on the USS Independence (LCS-2) as well as the Coronado. The Navy is also considering equipping the frigate version of the ship with the system.

The exercise was planned to help the service reduce risk of future LCS combat and certification exercises, the Raytheon news release stated.