Felt the need to share this. Very impressive test results against small surface targets. Given how close the targets appeared to the horizon, the targets must have been near the extreme range of the Hellfire or about 8000 yards. This is also about the effective range of the 57mm and the 76mm except that the accuracy is much greater and the time to destroy the target much shorter.
NAVSEA claims a 90% success rate in testing.
What does the fire control system for this thing look like? Is this something that could be easily adapted for use by the Coast Guard as supplemental armament? The 24 cell launchers might be a bit much but a smaller, lighter launcher is almost assuredly possible.
I have seen a mockup of a RHIB with four VLS tubes. It should not be too complex. Presumably the fire control is an electro optic device. Might be possible to integrate with the fire control on the Mk38 mod2/3.
They are longbow Hellfires. They are targeted via a mating between the ships 3D air and surface search radars and the missiles MMW seeker. I would presume it is similar to the fire control methods used with the RAM Mk 31 Guided Missile Weapon System (GMWS) on the Freedom-class LCS’.. Which, unlike the SeaRAM CIWS mounted on the Independence-class, don’t have their own sensors
The Longbow Apache helicopters use a radar. “The AH-64D Apache Longbow is equipped with a glass cockpit and advanced sensors, the most noticeable of which being the AN/APG-78 Longbow millimeter-wave fire-control radar (FCR) target acquisition system and the Radar Frequency Interferometer (RFI), housed in a dome located above the main rotor. The radome’s raised position enables target detection while the helicopter is behind obstacles (e.g. terrain, trees or buildings). The AN/APG-78 is capable of simultaneously tracking up to 128 targets and engaging up to 16 at once; an attack can be initiated within 30 seconds. A radio modem integrated with the sensor suite allows data to be shared with ground units and other Apaches, allowing them to fire on targets detected by a single helicopter.” Later versions of the attack helicopters also have Link 16. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_AH-64_Apache
Not sure if this test footage is trying to understate capability or what, but the Longbow control system is able to control, designate, and discriminate multiple targets and assigned missiles simultaneously. For these 8 targets, they could have ripple-fired missiles and hit all 8 targets within 30 seconds of each other. the Longbow is an amazing system in a helicopter and should be much more so, shipboard…
They use a COMBATSS-21 system, derived from the source code of Aegis. Supposedly, this FCS will be retrofitted to the Independence class at some point.
COMBATSS-21 system is on the National Security Cutters.
Pretty sure COMBATSS-21 has been standard on the Freedom class. It is also going to be used on the new frigate.
With the video music think it must have been produced by Russian 🙂
USS Freedom commissioned Nov. 2008 left the San Diego shipyard Dec.10 after repairs taking 2+ years, due to numerous problems the first four LCS ships including Freedom are classified as non-operational and allocated to a LCS ‘test’ division. None of the LCS ship fleet were in fit state carry out a deployment in 2018.
Scary stuff Nick…and we keep buying more of them.
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Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, Florida, was awarded a $663,728,183 modification (P00062) to contract W31P4Q-18-C-0130 for Hellfire II missile production. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2024. Fiscal 2020 missile procurement, Army funds; and fiscal 2019, 2020 and 2021 other procurement, Army funds in the amount of $663,728,183 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity. https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contracts/Contract/Article/2591938/