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U.S. Navy sends message to Iran by testing AGM-176 Griffin missiles in the Gulf

SeaEagle

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US Navy Patrol Coastal Ships Conducts Live Fire Exercise with MK-60 Griffin Missiles in Persian Gulf
US Navy Patrol Coastal Ships Conducts Live Fire Exercise with MK-60 Griffin Missiles in Persian Gulf

The U.S. Navy performed new missile tests near the coast of Iran in the Persian Gulf. The exercise demonstrated the U.S. Navy’s capacity to target and destroy adversary small missile boats similar to those used by Iran. The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet and Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) said that U.S. patrol coastal ships conducted a live-fire drill in the Persian Gulf using the MK-60 Griffin guided-missile system.

The USS Firebolt, USS Thunderbolt, USS Tempest, USS Chinook, USS Hurricane, and USS Whirlwind participated in the exercise, as did the expeditionary mobile base ship USS Lewis B. Puller guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy. This is interpreted as a message to Iran.

The test was performed at a place designed to draw Iran’s attention. The Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Gulf of Oman are the primary areas of operation for the Iranian Navy. The Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman, is the unique marine route connecting the Persian Gulf to the open ocean. It is one of the most strategically vital passages in the world.

u.s. navy sends message to iran by testing mk-60 griffin missiles in the gulf
USS Firebolt launching Griffin missile

The strait is roughly 21 nautical miles (39 km) wide at its narrowest point. Around 33% of global liquefied natural gas output and over 20% of total global oil production travel through the strait, making it one of the most vital maritime routes. However, it is something of a chokepoint due to its narrow width. Small missile boats and rapid assault craft capable of maneuvering effectively in these seas can be used to harass both massive warships and commercial vessels.

Iran has invested in several small vessels and has developed strategies to deploy them effectively in the strait. The Iranian fleet has ships with machine gun turrets, missile boats as well as catamaran-type crafts. On Sep 11, 2008, the Washington Institute for the Near East Policy said that in the two decades since the Iraqi imposed war on Iran, the IRGC or Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has excelled in naval capabilities and can wage unique asymmetric warfare against larger naval forces. According to the report, the IRGC Navy has been transformed into a highly motivated, well-equipped, and well-financed force and effectively controls the world’s oil lifeline, the Strait of Hormuz.

The MK-60 Patrol Coastal Griffin Missile System is a surface-to-surface missile system intended to defend ships from small boat swarms. It is developed from AGM-176 Griffin, which is designed to be launched from the ground or air. In September 2013, Raytheon and the U.S. Navy demonstrated the Griffin missile’s ability to engage fast-moving small boats from various platforms throughout a series of at-sea tests. In addition, the MK-60 Patrol Coastal Griffin Missile System was integrated on a Cyclone-class patrol ship, which used it to hit remote-controlled boats simulating a threat to the vessel.

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Cyclone-class patrol ship USS Thunderbolt

The MK-60 achieved initial operational capability (IOC) with the U.S. Navy in March 2014. The MK-60 includes the Griffin missile, a laser targeting system, a US Navy-designed launcher, and a battle management system. Each Mk-60 can launch four missiles, and a patrol ship has two MK-60 launchers on board.

Arming Patrol Crafts with Griffin missiles adds a layer of defense to the vessel beyond the range of their 25 mm gun mounts, out to 4.5 km, and also provides 360-degree coverage. The missile is equipped with a Blast-fragmentation warhead of 5.9 kg and has thrust-vectoring engines that can move the rocket to its target even when launched vertically. Installation onto a vessel involves adding the launcher and weapons control system, the BRITE Star II sensor/laser designator, and the Griffin B Block II missile in a process taking one month.

us navy 090213 n 4774b 028 the guided missile destroyer uss the sullivans ddg 68 flies the ships battle flags during exercises at sea - naval post- naval news and information
Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (Flight I) USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) (U.S. Navy photo)

The timing of the live firing exercise is critical. This particular U.S. Navy weapons training occurred days after Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps speed boats surrounded the USS The Sullivans (DDG 68), an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, and a Vietnamese-flagged oil tanker. Iranian forces on helicopters landed aboard the oil tanker and sailed it back to Iran during this confrontation. Iran asserts that it captured the oil ship as part of a mission to defend it against an act of piracy by the U.S. Navy. The U.S. Navy refuted this assertion, stating that it was simply seeing Iranian soldiers seize the tanker.

The area of operations of the United States Fifth Fleet spans the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Red Sea, and portions of the Indian Ocean and includes the three crucial choke points of the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal, and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb. Therefore, the Griffin Missile shot, which was made to eliminate the asymmetrical surface threats that move at high speed and in the form of a swarm, can be considered an important message was given to Iran.

Check out Naval Library App to find out more about the specifications of the Cyclone-class patrol ships.
 

Pakistan Space Agency

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Don't know why but for some strange reason, the Iranian gunboats decided to stay away?

All that chimpanzee style chest beating Iranians have been doing since Millenium Challenge (2002), is nowhere to be seen today.
 

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Pandora

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That is pretty much a check mate against Iranian swarm attack strategy. It is a low cost and potent solution to tackle any Irani offensive in straits. Now US developing balls big enough is entirely another matter. So far it looks like Iran bitch slapping US at every turn. How the might have fallen
 

Bilal9

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This essentially means you could (provide this being available) deploy this in ships as small as the Azmat class in two quad-packs. And ditto on Bangladesh Inshore Patrol vessels of many types displacing above 350 tons. Also, Tuzla class in the future.

@SQ8 Sea Griffin with dual seeker, range >20km tested?
I thought only the Air-to-Surface Griffin III launched from flying assets had a 20 KM range.

Surface-to-Surface range was supposed to be around 8 KM from what I read so far. Still, no small feat for something smaller than even a hellfire...
 

kingQamaR

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Sineva

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That is pretty much a check mate against Iranian swarm attack strategy. It is a low cost and potent solution to tackle any Irani offensive in straits. Now US developing balls big enough is entirely another matter. So far it looks like Iran bitch slapping US at every turn. How the might have fallen
Not really.While it might provide some level of protection against something like a typical light patrol boat thats only armed with a heavy machine gun and some unguided short ranged artillery rockets.

Its not going to be much help against antiship cruise missile armed FACs like these,which depending on the ashcm,either rocket or turbojet powered,have ranges of 35kms and around 100kms respectively.

These would likely be the teeth of any swarm,oh thats in addition of course,to all of the massive numbers of mobile land based ashcm and ashbm launchers that iran would deploy in a situation like this.
Of course one shouldnt underestimate the threat that even small lightly armed patrol craft can pose IF they`re deployed in sufficient numbers.......

......and interestingly just last year the irgc took delivery of 340 assorted small craft.

It really kind of puts it all in perspective,doesnt it?.:azn:
 

Oldman1

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Not really.While it might provide some level of protection against something like a typical light patrol boat thats only armed with a heavy machine gun and some unguided short ranged artillery rockets.

Its not going to be much help against antiship cruise missile armed FACs like these,which depending on the ashcm,either rocket or turbojet powered,have ranges of 35kms and around 100kms respectively.

These would likely be the teeth of any swarm,oh thats in addition of course,to all of the massive numbers of mobile land based ashcm and ashbm launchers that iran would deploy in a situation like this.
Of course one shouldnt underestimate the threat that even small lightly armed patrol craft can pose IF they`re deployed in sufficient numbers.......

......and interestingly just last year the irgc took delivery of 340 assorted small craft.

It really kind of puts it all in perspective,doesnt it?.:azn:
Yeah but you only need a couple of hundred of these missiles. Put them on drones, helos and aircraft and you can destroy them.
 

zartosht

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people need to realize that swarming tactics were a theoretical desperate strategy of an Iran with 89s,90s capability.

Iran today has enough shore to sea missiles, surface to surface missiles. to absolutely anahilate not only the 5th fleet, but their base and host country in a couple of hours.

Smaller boats are used for Patrols, visibility, and possibly to capture and or finish off crippled american naval vessels in the persian gulf that have eaten missiles, mines, drones, suicide boats..... Iran is even experimenting with anti-ship ballistic missiles..... and super cavitating torpedos and mini subs

swarm a naval target with suicide drones, boats, and shower them with sea based anti-ship missiles. in a tiny lake called the Persian gulf, and see how long they last (not very long I assure you)

the US knows what a poor strategic situation they are in. thats they they ALWAYS choose to stand down when a conflcit with IRan starts...

it started with this:

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Brits

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The Americans stood down after Iran shot down their 500 million dollar stealth drone...

the Americans stood down after the Iranian military openly fired on their base in Iraq (something no nation has dared to do in peace time post ww2) and the US stood down...


When there was tension, the 5th fleet actually got out of the persian gulf, especially the carriers. the US knows how vulnerable they are... Iran would actually be sad to see them leave at this point to be honest.... they are absolute hostages.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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@SQ8 Sea Griffin with dual seeker, range >20km tested?
Aimed specifically at Iranian Patrol
Boat swarms - it will be like shooting ducks in a pond.
Wasn't the LCS initially designed to take down littoral threats? I guess they overdesigned it.

Ultimately, the optimal strategy against boat swarms could be to emulate it, but through USVs. I could see the US working towards a strategy where it deploys 10-15-ton USVs into littoral waters. They can arm these ships with AGM-176s, AGM-114Rs and/or loitering munitions. tbh, the real 'bottleneck' for the US is personnel. It may not have enough people to man such boats in large numbers, but USVs are a different story, especially with automation in the mix.

Ironically, the LCS as a concept had merit, but the USN didn't fully understand littoral threats, so it designed the wrong application. If they revisit the LCS, they would look at a relatively large ship (5,000+ ton) with lots of internal room for USV and/or AUV deployment. Basically, 60-70% of its volume would be for USVs/AUVs, and it'd have a large aft ramp to deploy and recover the USVs.

Look at the Damen Crossover-series:

1637528911788.png

1637528918720.png
 

SQ8

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Wasn't the LCS initially designed to take down littoral threats? I guess they overdesigned it.

Ultimately, the optimal strategy against boat swarms could be to emulate it, but through USVs. I could see the US working towards a strategy where it deploys 10-15-ton USVs into littoral waters. They can arm these ships with AGM-176s, AGM-114Rs and/or loitering munitions. tbh, the real 'bottleneck' for the US is personnel. It may not have enough people to man such boats in large numbers, but USVs are a different story, especially with automation in the mix.

Ironically, the LCS as a concept had merit, but the USN didn't fully understand littoral threats, so it designed the wrong application. If they revisit the LCS, they would look at a relatively large ship (5,000+ ton) with lots of internal room for USV and/or AUV deployment. Basically, 60-70% of its volume would be for USVs/AUVs, and it'd have a large aft ramp to deploy and recover the USVs.

Look at the Damen Crossover-series:

View attachment 795878
View attachment 795879
The LCS went the way of the bradley - over engineering and changing requirements messed it up.

What is needed for that region is FAC-67M types numbers supporting a few LCS.
arm them with griffin systems and then see the boghammer types go plink plink one by one.
 

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