Video: Griffin missile launches from patrol ship, blasts target, goes operational

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.

In the pilothouse of the USS SIROCCO (PC 6), crewmen prepare to launch a Griffin missile on March 18. (US Navy)

In the pilothouse of the USS WHIRLWIND (PC 11), crewmen prepare to launch a Griffin missile on March 18. (US Navy)

Crewmen aboard the FIREBOLT (PC 10) prepare  a Griffin launcher for firing on March 19. (US Navy)

Crewmen aboard the FIREBOLT (PC 10) prepare a Griffin launcher for firing on March 19. (US Navy)

A target explodes upon being hit by a Griffin during firing tests on March 19. (US Navy)

A target explodes upon being hit by a Griffin during firing tests on March 19. (US Navy)

Whammo!

Whammo!

Box launchers for the Griffin system mounted on board USS TYPHOON (PC 5) operating from Bahrain. Seen March 30, 2014. (Chris Cavas)

Box launchers for the Griffin system mounted on board USS TYPHOON (PC 5) operating from Bahrain. Seen March 30, 2014. (Chris Cavas)

USS FIREBOLT (PC 10) underway in the Gulf on March 28, 2014. Protective covers shroud the Griffin launchers amidships. (Chris Cavas)

USS FIREBOLT (PC 10) underway in the Gulf on March 28, 2014. Protective covers shroud the Griffin launchers amidships. (Chris Cavas)

Christopher P. Cavas
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Christopher P. Cavas

If it's on, over, under or around the water, I write about it. Ships and aircraft, units, tactics, leadership, strategies, acquisition, politics, industry. In the USA and around the world.
Christopher P. Cavas
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