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Navy Close to Choosing Griffin Missile for LCS


The U.S. Navy is moving towards selecting Raytheon's Griffin missile as the replacement for the cancelled Non-Line of Sight missile on its Littoral Combat Ships, according to the director of the service's surface warfare division.

After evaluating its options for replacing one of the key parts of the LCS' surface warfare mission systems for six months, the surface warfare division settled on the Griffin due to the fact that it can hit targets at acceptable ranges for less money than the NLOS system, said Rear Adm. Frank Pandolfe today during a speech at a Surface Navy Association convention in Arlington, Va.

The Griffin -- with its launchers pictured above mounted on a Humvee -- will also be cheaper to install on the LCS than the larger NLOS system, according to Pandolfe.

Top Navy brass must now sign off on Pandolfe's recommendation to buy the Griffin.

The service is hoping to field a short-range version of the weapon around mid-decade followed by a longer-range version of it a couple of years later, according to a chart he showed during his speech. The missile, which uses parts of the Javelin anti-tank and AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, was originally designed as a replacement for the Hellfire antitank missile used by UAVs.  It's equipped with a 13 pound warhead and semi-active laser seeker.

This comes a little more than a week after the Navy moved to buy 10 each of the Freedom and Independence class LCSs over the next five years. The sea service says this move will save $2.9 billion over the original plan to buy 19 of one class of LCS in the same time period.

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