Here’s an item from the previous post (see, “LCS Update”) that I just have to highlight. It’s about the SeaRAM testing on the LCS.
“The Navy completed the first at-sea demonstration of the SeaRAM system in LCS 4 in 2015 during an engagement against a non-maneuvering, subsonic aerial target (BQM-74) with radio frequency and infrared augmentation that were not consistent with the characteristics of realistic threats.” [emphasis added]
I recall when this test was first announced. I read it and figured that it was one of the Navy’s typical unrealistic live fire exercises that prove little more than mechanical operation of the missile system. Little did I realize until reading DOT&E’s report that the exercise set new lows in realism and usefulness.
Note the underlined portion which states that the target was not only non-maneuvering but had an artificially enhanced tracking signature. This was the test that the Navy was so proud of? The only way they could have made the test easier and less realistic was to hang the target directly in front of the missile cell on the launcher so that the missile had to bump into it on its way out.
I know the Navy is afraid of conducting realistic tests but this is absurd. Do we really not want to know what our missiles and systems can do before we find out the hard way – in combat – and people get killed?
This is yet another indictment of Navy leadership – a common theme of mine and you can see why.