CIWS Upgrades Keep Lincoln Combat Ready

Story Number: NNS100311-32Release Date: 3/11/2010 5:16:00 PM
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By USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln successfully completed a test firing of its Close In Weapons System (CIWS) March 9, after receiving an upgrade during the ship's 2009 maintenance period.

Upgrades to the close-in self-defense weapon system included transition from block 1 baseline 0, to block 1 baseline 2, allowing the gun to fire 4,500 rounds per minute instead of 3,000 as previously capable by using compressed high pressure air instead of hydraulics to release the rounds faster.

The test fire, called a Pre-action Aim Calibration Fire or PACFIRE, lasted about an hour and resulted in the successful firing of approximately 900 rounds from the ship's three CIWS mounts. The purpose of the PACFIRE is to calibrate the aim of the system, ensuring the rounds reach exactly where the radar sees the target.

"The upgrade worked perfectly. We're a much more capable and combat-ready ship with the new software and hardware," said Fire Controlman 1st Class Ian D. Warner of the combat systems department. "One mount is brand new and two others are completely refurbished, so we're fully ready to go out execute the maritime strategy."

Prior to the live fire, Sailors from Lincoln's combat systems and operations department first conducted a simulated detect-to-engage scenario using the ship's radars and electronic sensors. Pre-fire maintenance and safety checks are then verified before firing.

Finally, post-fire maintenance includes taking apart and inspecting the guns, verifying they're in working condition, then cleaning and lubricating the moving parts before putting the guns back together.

Pronounced "sea-whiz" throughout the fleet, the CIWS is the ship's last line of defense against an incoming missile threat. Phalanx CIWS is a fast reaction terminal defense against low and high flying, high-speed maneuvering anti-ship missile threats that have penetrated all other ships' defenses. With an effective range of one nautical mile and a 4,500 rounds-per-minute rate of fire, the CIWS is an integral element of the fleet defense in-depth concept and the ship self-defense program. The Phalanx CIWS is used on approximately 190 U.S. Navy ships and 20 foreign navies, as well as in the U.S. Army as a land-based weapon system.

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