By U.S. Navy 6th Fleet Public Affairs
USS Donald Cook and USS Ross each successfully intercepted anti-ship cruise missile target drones with live missiles fired from the ships’ new SeaRAM close-in weapons systems.
These two ships join USS Porter and USS Carney as the SeaRAM-capable ships ready to counter any threat thanks to this upgrade in self-defense technology. Porter and Carney previously conducted successful live-fire SeaRAM missile exercises on March 2016, and July 2016, respectively.
As part of the Navy’s “Speed to Fleet” program, the SeaRAM self-defense missile system was rapidly fielded to the four Arleigh Burke-class destroyers that are forward deployed to Rota, Spain. In combination with the ship’s Aegis Weapons System, the SeaRAM system provides enhanced point defense for these ships by combining components of the proven Phalanx close-in weapon system with the capabilities of the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM).
In less than two years, the Navy was able to provide all four ships deployed to Rota with this modernization, enhancing their existing capability to counter modern anti-ship cruise missiles.
Through the work of the Navy’s program executive officer for integrated warfare systems, each of these ships were able to receive the system on time, on budget, and ready to operate.
This program started in 2015 with the initiative of the Navy Staff, Surface Warfare Directorate (OPNAV N96), the Department of Navy Budget Office (FMB), and the support of a congressional reprogramming of funds from within the Navy’s existing budget.
Through this “Speed to Fleet” program, the Navy has modernized and improved warships to meet the ever-changing anti-ship cruise missile threats throughout the European theatre of operations.
“This game-changing technology continues to ensure our ability for these multi-mission ships to steam into harm’s way as required anywhere in this theater in support of U.S. national interests, and in support of our allies and partners. These ships patrol throughout this theater with an array of the most-capable weapons in the world; we put the concept of ‘distributed lethality’ to work in this pivotal region every day,” said Capt. Tate Westbrook, commander, Task Force 65, commodore, Destroyer Squadron 60, following the successful results of this latest missile test.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.