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USS Savannah's live-fire test SM-6 missile via MK 70 MOD 1 payload delivery system.

| 2023

According to information published by the US DoD on October 25, 2023, the USS Savannah (LCS 28) demonstrated a live-fire test in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, employing an SM-6 missile aimed at a designated target through the MK 70 MOD 1 Payload Delivery System (PDS).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 SM-6 missile firing from USS Savannah through MK 70 MOD 1 Payload Delivery System. (Picture source: Dvids)

This exercise was designed to showcase the potential modularity and adaptability of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) when integrated with containerized weapon systems such as the MK 70.

The MK 70 MOD 1 PDS is built upon the combat-proven MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) technology, known for providing mid-range precision fires capabilities. It is engineered for rapid deployment of offensive capability to non-traditional platforms and locations.

The system encapsulates a containerized combat launcher housed within a 40’ container equipped with four VLS strike-length missile cells. This setup transitions the MK 41 VLS technology, previously utilized by the US Navy on Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, into a rapidly deployable and relocatable ground system.

The MK 70, retaining key electronics from the MK 41 system, provides a scalable, dynamic missile, and combat system alignment in four-cell increments, allowing for a rapidly relocatable platform which enhances survivability and intensifies adversary uncertainty.

USS Savannah

The USS Savannah is a member of the Littoral Combat Ship class, designed for nearshore operations with capabilities extending to open-ocean operations. Despite its modularity for various missions like anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures, and surface warfare, the LCS class has faced scrutiny for cost overruns and certain combat capability limitations.

The Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) utilized in the demonstration is a multi-mission naval missile encompassing anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, and terminal ballistic missile defense capabilities. It boasts an advanced integral seeker for superior target detection and engagement.

The live-fire demonstration aimed at integrating the SM-6 missile with the MK 70 PDS on an LCS platform. This integration could potentially mitigate some identified limitations of the LCS class, providing operational versatility across a variety of naval engagements.

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