Thursday, October 09, 2008
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) claimed the first successful hit and kill with the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) during a Combat System Ship's Qualification Trials (CSSQT) off the coast of Southern California. Stennis' Tactical Action Officer Ens. Clay Cunningham said, "This is the first successful ESSM kill from an aircraft carrier." Combat systems department launched the new missiles, the RIM-162 D-1, during a live-fire exercise by engaging drones inbound to Stennis."The evaluation team from Port Hueneme [California] said Stennis' combat systems team performed at the top of the fleet," said Combat Systems Officer Cmdr. Greg Gaskey. The ESSM has advantages in range, agility and advanced technology over the RIM-7. A short-range missile, the ESSM is designed to provide self defense for surface ships. The new missile is launched from the existing NATO Sea Sparrow Launcher.