The United States Navy faces numerous risks, including those posed by close-in dangers like helicopters, unmanned vehicles and cruise missiles. Needing an enhanced capability over the existing Phalanx Close-In Weapon System’s 20mm gun, the Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) and other organizations chose the Sea Rolling Airframe Missile (SeaRAM) as the new means of missile defense. SeaRAM can track and destroy threats approaching from longer distances and it can handle threats that would have been extremely risky or impossible for the Phalanx system. Before deployment, PEO IWS needed to properly test SeaRAM to ensure it met the Navy’s needs.
Participating in the first-ever live-firing of SeaRAM from a destroyer, Engility helped the Naval Sea Systems Command, PEO IWS and the Sailors of the USS Porter (DDG 78) successfully conduct live-fire tests during Combat Systems Ship Qualifications Trials (CSSQT) at El Arenosillo Test Range (CEDEA) off the coast of Huelva, Spain during the first week of March 2016.
Engility’s team directly supported PEO IWS in planning and executing the test on a foreign test range. Our team also coordinated and scheduled air resources for the events, overcoming unique challenges to obtain F-16 flight clearance over CEDEA so that targets could be launched.
The qualification test was successful, and USS Porter will be able to utilize SeaRAM operationally. Engility’s work brought SeaRAM closer to safe deployment. Valuable lessons learned from our team’s efforts will be applied to other SeaRAM tests on three other ships.
The SeaRAM CSSQT highlighted a series of firsts for USS Porter, Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center and PEO IWS. The USS Porter’s commanding officer said, "The addition of this advanced weapons system to Porter’s arsenal is extremely welcome. It is a culmination of the cooperation of several program offices and agencies, both at sea and ashore, ensuring that, out here on the front lines of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces, we receive the capabilities we need when we need them."