SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Mission Modules (MM) program successfully completed the first Structural Test Firing (STF) of the 30mm gun mission module aboard USS Coronado (LCS 4) off the coast of Southern California, April 30.
The purpose of the STF is to challenge the ship in the most severe blast conditions of the weapon's fire. STF is a total ship test involving live weapons fire and is required for each ship class or variant.
"Tested and proven on the LCS Freedom variant, this structural test firing marks the first critical step in demonstrating the surface warfare mission package capability on the LCS Independence variant," said Rear Adm. John Ailes, LCS Mission Modules program manager.
The test began by embarking two 30mm guns, mission package software, and associated test equipment and by loading live ammunition. The STF consisted of three live firing scenarios: gun operations, worst case blast loading, and sustained fire. Upon completion of the STF, the surface warfare mission package accomplished multiple tracking exercises May 1, using high speed maneuvering surface targets to simulate both single boat and swarm attacks.
"The STF and initial tracking exercises prepare the ship and train the crews for more complex surface warfare tracking and live fire exercises scheduled to begin summer 2014, which will culminate in initial operational test and evaluation in 2015," said Ailes.
The 30mm gun mission module and a visit boarding search and seizure module are two components of the surface warfare mission package (SUW MP) developed to support the LCS modular concept.
While this was the first 30mm gun firing on an LCS Independence variant, the SUW MP completed deployment to the Western Pacific aboard USS Freedom (LCS 1) in December 2013 and Initial Operational Test and Evaluation aboard USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) in April 2014. The lessons learned and processes developed from the testing aboard Freedom and Fort Worth were critical to the effective and efficient embark, STF, and tracking events aboard Coronado, the second ship of the LCS Independence variant.
PEO LCS is affiliated with the Naval Sea Systems Command and provides a single program executive responsible for acquiring and sustaining mission capabilities of the littoral combat ship class, from procurement through fleet employment and sustainment. The combined capability of the LCS ships and LCS mission systems is designed to dominate the littoral battle space and provide U.S. forces with assured access to coastal areas.
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