The US Navy’s Mark 60 Griffin missile system was declared operational March 25 after successful live-fire tests from patrol coastal (PC) ships assigned to the Fifth Fleet. The weapon gives the small PCs a punch they’ve sorely lacked. This newly-released Navy video shows Griffin launches from tests on March 20 and 21, along with the missiles striking target vessels.
The missile system, developed by Raytheon, includes a laser-designed targeting system and a Navy-designed launcher and battle management system. The missile launched from the ships is designated BGM-176B; the original AGM-176A missile is an aft-ejecting weapon intended to be dropped out of aircraft such as the C-130 Hercules. The BGM-176B is a forward-launching variant, able to be launched from ships, fixed-wing and rotary aircraft, and ground launchers.
At-sea tests of the Griffin system began in March 2012. The Navy intends to arm all forward-deployed PCs with the weapon. By this fall, ten of the ships will be operating from Bahrain under the control of Naval Forces, US Central Command.
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