Dmitry Shulgin reports on a live fire exercise involving half the Cyclone class PCs and half the PATFORSWA 110 foot Island class cutters operating out of Bahrain.
“Exercise participates included Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) patrol coastal ships USS Sirocco (PC-6), USS Tempest (PC-2), USS Squall (PC-7), USS Hurricane (PC-3), USS Whirlwind (PC-11) and island class patrol boats USCGC Adak (WPB-1333), USCGC Aquidneck (WPB-1309), and USCGC Baranof (WPB-1318).
“The ships also conducted live fire exercises with their Mark-38 25-mm machine guns and other crew served weapons to maintain operator proficiency and test new equipment upgrades for future missions.”
There is one bit of information here I had not seen before, an effective range for the Griffin small, short range surface to surface missile, given as 3 nautical miles, 6000 yards or 5.56 km. Since these missiles have found no other user after the installation on the ten Cyclone class homeported in SW Asia, I think the program was probably a dead end. It is bracketed by two very successful system being produced in huge numbers, the smaller Advance Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) and the larger Longbow Hellfire.
I am hoping, when the Webber class cutters replace the Island class in Bahrain, that the Coast Guard and Navy will have taken some steps to better equip them for this potentially hostile area, including possibly Hellfire and/or APKWS..
The U.S. Navy is indeed buying lots of APKWS rockets although I don’t know what the launch platform will be. Arnold Defense now makes a 23-shot rocket pod.
I am concerned about the future of USN and USCG small boats like the ones pictured here. With the growing proliferation of ATGMs and rockets fired from naval helicopters and aircraft, small boats will need some form of CIWS and MANPADS. It might become too easy in the future to plink out USA small fast boats providing close littoral escort and defense. Even the LCS seems too weak in defensive armament against air and missile attack.
Meanwhile, Chinese missile corvettes do carry MANPADS and a 30mm CIWS for self-protection against helicopter and missile attack.
The type 056 corvettes also have an eight round launcher similar to RAM.
I believe the PC’s so accommodate Stingers. Compared to other small boats in the USN and USCG they appear to be the most combat ready
The PCs have a stand to mount Stinger MANPADS on the deck, so say books, but I’ve never seen any photos of this being used.
The Mark VI Patrol Boat has about the same armament and are also used in littoral patrols.
SEARAM for all?
That would be very analogous to the Ambassador IIIs and Swiftships 75m Corvettes. I don’t know if SeaRAM is small enough to fit aboard a PC.
It would be relatively easy to make a naval version of the interim Air Defense system being mounted on some Army Vehicles now that has a 30mm gun, four Stingers, and two Hellfire.
Yes, that would be the Leonardo DRS RiWP turret. It would need to be navalized to resist saltwater and corrosion, but I’m sure it is possible.
It could also mount a 7.62mm COAX, 2.75″ rocket pod, Javelin ATGM, and 25mm chaingun as weapon options.
All I know is if I was on a patrol boat or CG Cutter bobbing around in the Persian Gulf today, I’d want as robust a defensive armament loadout as practical.
Yes, hopefully the Navy and Coast Guard will upgrade the weapons on the Webber class bound for PATFORSWA. I am sticking by my recommendations https://chuckhillscgblog.net/2018/10/12/modifying-webber-class-cutters-for-duty-in-sw-asia/
As we’ve seen over the last few days, the threat profile in the Gulf can change in a heartbeat (or lack of a heartbeat).
The whole fitted for but not with thing makes less sense in that environment.
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Griffin live fire exercise. http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/naval-news/naval-news-archive/2021/november/10981-us-navy-conducts-live-fire-exercise-with-mk-60-griffin-system-in-persian-gulf.html