April 7 (UPI) -- The U.S Navy's USS America shot down a remotely piloted aircraft with a Rolling Airframe Missile during a live-fire exercise on Thursday.
According to Navy officials, the exercise was conducted to verify the new ship's defense capabilities. USS America is the first vessel of its class, and is designed to accommodate modern fighter aircraft such as the F-35 Lightning II.
"The purpose of this exercise was to test the capabilities of the combat systems on board and to ensure they were fully operational," Thomas Mirsky explained in a press release. "The exercise consisted of targeting our RAM to a drone strategically placed in the Pacific Ocean."
The Rolling Airframe Missile, or RAM, is a guided weapon built for modern naval defense platforms. It features quick-reaction fire-and-forget capabilities, and can defend against anti-ship missiles.
During the demonstration aboard USS America, an unmanned aerial vehicle was used to simulate an incoming missile. Sailors say they experienced no problems with their test.
"The mission today showcased the forward presence that the America will bring with it on deployment," Chief Fire Controlman Donald Reichert said. "All-in-all, it was a major success."