The US Navy’s LCS ships lack a short range missile. The planned NLOS missile was cancelled. So the Navy is now looking at using a vertical launch system equipped with the AGM-114 Hellfire missile, particularly its Longbow millimeter wavelength radar seeker variant.
In a recent test series performed by the US Navy, eight Army/Lockheed martin AGM-114L ‘Longbow Hellfire’ missiles destroyed seven fast naval craft simulating fast attack craft performing swarm attacks, similar to those practiced by the Iranian navy in the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf. The test was part of the engineering development test of the Surface-to-Surface Missile Module (SSMM), for use on littoral combat ships (LCS).
The tests, that took place in June 2015 in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Virginia, evaluated the integration of the vertically-launched AGM-114L Longbow Hellfire missile system for the SSMM solution. In this application the missile receives initial target data from a surface search radar or an airborne radar on a helicopter, before launch. After launch, it activates the onboard millimeter wave seeker to find the target. The system has an initial range of eight kilometers and features fire-and-forget and multi-mode capability. The multi-purpose warhead ensures effectiveness against various types of attacking craft.