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US Navy USS Charleston LCS 18 conducts live firing exercice with its SeaRam missile system

According to information published by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) on April 9, 2021, the U.S. Navy USS Charleston (LCS 18) Independence-variant littoral combat ship conducted a successful Rolling Airframe Missile (SeaRAM) launch during a live-fire exercise, April 8. 2021.


According to information published by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) on April 9, 2021, the U.S. Navy USS Charleston (LCS 18) Independence-variant littoral combat ship conducted a successful Rolling Airframe Missile (SeaRAM) launch dring a live-fire exercise, April 8. 2021.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship USS Charleston (LCS 18) launches a RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile RAM. (Picture source U.S. Navy)


The USS Charleston (LCS 18) and their watch teams conduct live-fire exercises, like the SeaRAM launch, in preparation for contributing to the high-end fight and maintaining warfighting readiness within the surface fleet.

The USS Charleston (LCS-18) is an Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) in service with the United States Navy that was built by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama. The ship was commissioned on March 2, 2019, and she has been assigned to Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One at her homeport of San Diego. The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom-class, and the Independence-class, designed and built by two industry teams. The Independence-variant is an aluminum trimaran design. 

The armament of the USS Charleston includes one BAE Systems Mk 110 57 mm naval gun, 4× .50 cal (12.7 mm) guns (2 aft, 2 forward), one Evolved SeaRAM 11 cell missile launcher, and Mission modules that deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare or surface warfare missions.

The SeaRAM is an anti-ship missile system that combines the radar and electro-optical system of the Phalanx CIWS Mk-15 Block 1B (CRDC) with an 11-cell RAM launcher to produce an autonomous system—one which does not need any external information to engage threats. Like the Phalanx, SeaRAM can be fitted to any class of ship. 

The SeaRAM is designed to offer improved ship self-defense and extended keep-out range capabilities in hostile combat environments. It allows naval vessels to effectively engage in high-performance, supersonic and subsonic threats including sea-skimming, anti-ship missiles, high-speed incoming vessels, rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and other surface targets. 

The SeaRAM system is modeled after the Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System), replacing the 20 mm Gatlin gun with a launcher that pinpoints its target and fires up to 11 RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), a small, lightweight, infrared homing surface-to-air missile. It's currently deployed on more than 165 ships in 11 countries, ranging from 500-ton fast attack craft to 95,000-ton aircraft carriers.

The MK 44 missile is used in the SeaRAM® anti-ship missile defense system, replacing the M601A1 Gatling gun in the Phalanx® close-in weapon system with an 11-round launcher. The missile has an operational range of 10 km.