“Griffin Missile Exercise” –Demitry Shulgin

ARABIAN GULF (Sept. 16, 2018) A MK-60 Griffin surface-to-surface missile is launched from coastal patrol ship USS Thunderbolt (PC 12). Ships attached to U.S. 5th Fleet’s Task Force 55 are conducting missile and naval gun exercises against high speed maneuvering targets to advance their ability to defend minesweepers and other coastal patrol ships. U.S. 5th Fleet and coalition assets are participating in numerous exercises as part of the greater Theater Counter Mine and Maritime Security Exercise to ensure maritime stability and security in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (Photo by MC2 Kevin Steinberg)

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..

Crewmembers aboard the U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Adak (WPB-1333) raise the American flag. Adak is assigned to CTF 55, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Frank Iannazzo-Simmons

12 thoughts on ““Griffin Missile Exercise” –Demitry Shulgin

  1. 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.

    https://www.baesystems.com/en-us/article/u-s–navy-orders-thousands-of-additional-apkws-laser-guided-rockets

    https://www.arnolddefense.com/product/mlhs/

    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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Pingback: Navy to Decommission Cyclone Class Patrol Craft | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

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