March 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy recently completed a surface to surface missile module test firing exercise from the littoral combat ship USS Detroit.
The exercise marked the module's first launch from a littoral combat ship, vessels designed to project naval power in offshore locations. It was also the first vertical missile launch from the platform. Navy officials say the test was conducted as part of its surface warfare mission package development program.
"The testing aboard USS Detroit was an important milestone in advancing LCS capability, not only for the LCS community, but for the entire fleet," Detroit's commanding officer Cmdr. Michael Desmond said in a press release. "As small boat threats proliferate, the SSMM will give our ships added lethality."
The surface to surface missile module, or SSMM, is built to allow warships to engage smaller vessels in maritime battlefields. The systems are armed with Army Longbow Hellfire Missiles. SSMM achieved initial operational capability in November 2014.
"This was another positive step forward in fielding of the next increment for the [surface warfare mission package]," program manager Capt. Ted Zobel added. "The SSMM is a critical piece of the SUW MP, and this event will allow us to move safely into developmental testing and soon to fielding this capability aboard LCS."
The Navy will continue testing SSMM aboard littoral combat ships later in 2017 and into 2018.