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Singapore Navy Fires Missiles at USN-Launched Target Drones

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050608-07
Release Date: 6/8/2005 11:09:00 AM

By Chief Journalist Melinda Larson, Commander, Destroyer Squadron 1 Public Affairs

SINGAPORE (NNS) -- The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) successfully fired Barak and Mistral missiles at U.S. Navy-launched aerial target drones during an inbound missile exercise in the South China Sea June 7.

The simulated inbound missile exercise was part of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2005.

During the 11th annual CARAT, the RSN fired its Barak anti-missile missile at a drone flying the profile of an incoming enemy aircraft. The Barak was launched from the Republic of Singapore Ship (RSS) Vigilance, a missile corvette ship. A Luneberg reflective lens mounted fore and aft on the drone can give it a profile of four-square meters to simulate an incoming enemy aircraft. Previous CARAT Barak firings also shot down drones simulating inbound anti-ship missiles, and against surface targets.

“Over the years, the U.S. Navy has provided drones in support of the RSN’s missile exercise,” said RSN Fleet Commander Col. Chew Men Leong during CARAT opening remarks May 31. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the USN for the staunch support in this, especially when almost all of these drones have only taken a one-way trip to Singapore.”

Chew, referring to his navy’s ability to shoot down targets, said the June 7 missile exercise pushes the limits of his navy’s anti-air warfare capability.

The RSN’s Mistral surface-to-air missile also hit its mark after being fired from the tank landing ship RSS Endeavour.

The drone detachment from Commander, Fleet Activities Okinawa (CFAO) launched the two aerial drone targets from the flight deck of USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), the designated launch ship. With 5,500 pounds of thrust from the engine, drones are shot from the deck at 220 knots true air speed in 1.4 seconds.

“Both launches were a great success. The Singapore navy did a superb job of acquiring, tracking and hitting their targets,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Douglas Park, CFAO targets officer in charge. His team is embarked aboard Fort McHenry for the first two phases in the CARAT series.

The drone targets flew parallel to the combined, six-ship CARAT task group at a maximum range of 18 to 22 miles, altitudes of 800 to 2,000 feet, and at speeds from 270 to 450 knots. A drone target can travel up to 500 knots at a maximum altitude of 40,000 feet with a range of 150 miles, Park said.

USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) and USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) also fired at the drone targets with five-inch guns.

CARAT is a series of bilateral military exercises between the U.S. Navy and the armed forces of Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines. Singapore is the first phase of the annual exercise series, which will continue through late August.

Capt. Buzz Little, commander of Destroyer Squadron 1, leads the CARAT Task Group, which is made up of the dock landing ship Fort McHenry, the guided-missile destroyer Paul Hamilton, the guided-missile frigate Rodney M. Davis, and the rescue and salvage ship USS Safeguard (ARS 50).

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