Home » News » Money Money Money » Navy Nails Speedboats With Griffin Missiles

Navy Nails Speedboats With Griffin Missiles

by John Reed on June 15, 2012

In case you haven’t seen this, the Navy has begun testing Raytheon’s Griffin mini-missiles for use in defending its ships against swarms of explosive-laden, fast-moving small boats. Yes, the Griffin is already being used in combat with great success by the Marines aboard their KC-130 Harvest Hawks that are pinch-hitting as gunships. As you know, the sea service is planning on installing theGriffin aboard the Littoral Combat Ships to, well, protect them against swarms of small boats, among other things.

Here’s Raytheon’s announcement of the successful tests:

he U.S. Navy proved the ability of Raytheon Company’s Griffin B missile to engage rapidly moving small boats during a recent live-fire demonstration.

“This demonstration shows the Griffin missile’s effectiveness in engaging the type of small, fast-moving boats used by swarming threats and pirates,” said Harry Schulte, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems’ Air Warfare Systems product line. “Griffin is fully developed, in production, lightweight, precise, and can be easily integrated on a wide variety of vessels, making it an excellent weapon for near-term threats.”

During the demonstration, which took place late in the first quarter of 2012, three Griffins were fired from a sea-based launcher at three separate speeding-boat targets more than 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away. The weapons were guided by laser, and scored direct hits on the target, achieving all demonstration objectives.

About the Griffin
The Griffin missile is in production and integrated on the C-130 Harvest Hawk. The combat-proven Griffin A is an aft-eject missile designed for employment from non-conventional platforms such as the C-130 aircraft. Griffin B is a forward-firing missile that launches from rotary– and fixed-wing aircraft and ground-launch applications.

The Griffin enables the warfighter to engage targets via a user interface and guide the weapon to the target using GPS coordinates or laser designation. To maximize lethality, the user can choose to engage the target with height of burst, point detonation or fuze delay.

  • Griffin is 43 inches long, weighs 33 pounds and has a 13-pound warhead.
  • Griffin has been fired from C-130 platforms and, most recently, from a modified RAM launcher.
  • Griffin has a proven track record of successful rapid integration.
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{ 131 comments… read them below or add one }

Taylor June 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Seems like some 50 caliber machine guns would be better for close in action. The speedboats are allowed to get pretty close to the ships from what I have seen. And bullets are a lot cheaper.


Flounder June 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm

That's what I was thinking as well. It seems like against a "swarm" a heavy machine gun would be more effective. I think it is just me but when someone says swarm I think many boats (like 10 or more) all coming at once… Maybe i'm missing something but then maybe the point of having these missiles is just to give the ships another weapon.


Chuck June 16, 2012 at 10:56 pm

I think if the Navy needed to transit the Straits and a swarm attack was suspected, that SEALs would be dispatched to destroy as many missile batteries as possible. The Cyclone class ships and a bunch of heavily armed Mk V boats would be present among the capital ships. The ship decks would be littered with 25mm guns, AH-1Zs and SH-60Rs with door guns would be everywhere. The ports would be bombed immediately. Marines landing on the several islands near the Straits would follow.

Forget the swarm boats, a barrage of guided artillery missiles, like the MLRS with IR and/or radar homing guidance would be hardest to counter. Might want to consider putting something like the Iron Dome system on the ships. Not even sure how good that would be against 150 or so guided rockets.


David June 15, 2012 at 1:02 pm

The missile allows target acquisition and engagement at a greater distance from the ship. This means no worry of collateral damage from suicide boats getting too close before being successfully engaged. Also engaging them farther out means you can thin the pack before they become a real threat.


SJE June 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Yep, and 13lb explosive warhead deal with armor better than a 50cal.


Deluxe June 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm

All hands on deck: leave no weapons off the table.


boldar June 22, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Definitely like the Ma' Deuce, was surprised that deck mounted 25mm with HE rounds were not implemented. Might as well use a small magazine fed RAM system with the early Sea Sparrow manned guidance / tracking system.


Andy June 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Try Phalanx gun to see what happen.


orly? June 15, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Abit more complex to do, but possible


Andy June 15, 2012 at 2:19 pm

If you have 30-40 speed boats coming at you, which one you rather have to protect yourself: two Phalanx gun or 2 tube of missiles.


Alan June 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I have wondered that…why isn't a laser targeting Phalanx a much more effective means to take out any kind of small boat? I would think that thing would be able to handle swarming boats with ease…it would only take a couple seconds of on target time to take out what I have seen the IRG skipping around in.


bevel450 June 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Do you have any idea of how short the barrel life of a Phalanx is ? That high rate of fire ( you have only two settings…fast and faster) wears out the barells in…..

Well, you do the homework.

As a taxpayer and a soldier CWIS is the wrong answer.


blight_ June 15, 2012 at 5:56 pm

And replacing barrels in the field, potentially with AShCMs coming on the tails of cannon fodder speedboats…


Andy June 15, 2012 at 6:53 pm

A few thousand rounds per minutes, you don't think it will take out all of the Speed boat ??? yep, you do the homework eh.

Bolton June 18, 2012 at 4:58 am

The barrel life on a CIWS mount is plenty long. I do not remember what the requirement is for replacing them but I never had to replace one in the 5 years I was on the USS Bridge before she went USNS. I watched the aft mount shoot a towed target off the cable and then continue shooting at the cable until it past the ship. That was toward the end of my tour after shooting ungodly amount of rounds through it and never replacing one barrel. How about you do the homework to prove your statements. Now if you are talking about a system that is very maintenance intensive that is a whole separate issue. If you do not do the proper maintenance and clean the barrels, then that may cause early wear and replacement. You have even spelled the acronym wrong. CIWS stands for Close-In Weapon System. You are a POSER


Bolton June 18, 2012 at 5:05 am

bevel450, My last statement was meant for this guy.

Robert Fritts September 4, 2012 at 11:32 am

So we have very effective weapons systems, but initial cost, maintenance, replacement parts and ammunition cost too much to use? So lets put Sailors and Marines on the rails with M-16s, M-4s and M-240s, maybe a Javilen missle(wait thats expensive too) to defend a $Billion Aegis Destroyer. OK! sound like our correct military posture. After all we built the F-22 that is too expensive use in combat. I'm all for saving the tax payer money but this sounds a bit short sighted. Reminds me of the motor pool guards getting a 5 round magazine in Baumholder, Germany, just incase they were attacked by one of the 200+ Giant(300lbs+) Boar hogs foraging around the Lager trash sites every night. You might piss off one, but the rest would eat you.


blight_ September 4, 2012 at 12:34 pm

And LCS was meant to spare us from this kind of cost logic…has it?

SJE June 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm

yes, but you can't have a phalanx on every single ship, whereas a few missle tubes and 50cal would fit on even the smaller naval vessels.


tiger June 15, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Like your thought process, but you need a cannon. Not a MG.


SJE June 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Cannon would be better, but it depends on the size of the boat. 50cal would work for inflatables and smaller boats (wasn't USS Cole damaged by inflatables?). In reality, with a swarm you will need as many guns as possible, and you can quickly mount a number of MGs on any ship.



Technoweapon June 16, 2012 at 8:21 am

Sounds like it'd be a good idea. But CIWS is for "incoming"-defense. Last I checked it took about 3 seconds to expend it's ammo reserve then, at least, 20mins reload by multiple Sailors.

Maybe they have a burst option available to CIWS now.That's the only way I see it as feasable. BRRT BRRT BRRT BRRT. Lol.

The .50 option is always there. 30mm, too. And I think they have 20mm somewhere.

Not like a swarm is a realistic threat. Is it? Wouldn't we be able to pick up the boats and maneuver? I imagine our ships can outrange/outrun/outgun just fine. Not like you're going to keep attacking from speedboats if your little boats keep getting blasted every time you close to within 300m.


DB Cooper June 18, 2012 at 9:19 am

Especially the 30mm version and it would cost a lot less. The military always goes for the most expensive and least reliable option every time.


Boldar June 22, 2012 at 3:23 pm



dennis June 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I agree that several Phalanx guns should be on hand for backup.


Alan June 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm

In the event of actual conflict, I doubt they will be getting as close as they have been in recent taunts. They will stand off with this for sure.


STemplar June 15, 2012 at 1:02 pm

If there is an actual conflict I would expect F-18s laden with cluster bombs would be paying a visit to the various Revolutionary Guard ports that base these boats the evening before we bother sailing through the Straits.


Andy June 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm

F18 will need to take of from Carrier.


DanS June 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Or B-2's, 52's, or Bones out of US, Diego Garcia, or Guam. Hell an SSGN could do the same work. Seriously, why look for problems when they don't exist.


STemplar June 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Mid air refueling anyone? Try a little wikimapia and the Gulf and apply some combat radius for the F-18, good grief.


Armchair general June 15, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Too true. Actual conflict scenario– their whole coastline is crucified, much less anything on the water. Last time it was a handful of boats. However, a real swarm inbound would be seen as a huge threat from miles out.


Technoweapon June 16, 2012 at 8:24 am

My thoughts exactly. +1


Boldar June 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Bust out the 5"/54's or 5"/62's, for frigates, the 3"/62 by Otto Malera is sufficient to fix that problem – in concurrence – let the envelope defense technology work in the ship's favor. The camera system run in gun plot can slave the guns to it for single bore or double bore (if an older ten can is in the vicinity). Three rounds of PD/BF would do the trick, order salvo of three fused for .25 second prior to impact.

C' Ya'!

Brings back "good" memories of Beirut.


Kooch June 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Lets hope the jet ski's dont have a weapon that can reach out more than 1.2 miles


SJE June 15, 2012 at 12:26 pm

What is the minimum effective range that this can target? If a boat is thought to be friendly, gets to 500 m and you suddenly see them lifting an RPG out of the hold, can you get the missile off before they launch?


Boldar June 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm

RPG affective range from my memory is approximately 800 yards (correction requested if available), weapon self destructs – Soviets didn't want to walk on their duds. Ballistic trajectory, comes in two weapon varieties that I know of RPG 2 with a HEAT round, and a RPG 7 fragmentation round (correction requested if available – and appreciated by those knowledgeable in these things thanx in advance).


Nick June 15, 2012 at 12:33 pm

The General Atomics rail gun concept for this was pretty cool, much more cost effective on a per-kill basis.

Also this is going on the LCS? I thought the plan was to have them be totally unarmed? /sarcasm


Technoweapon June 16, 2012 at 8:35 am

Agreed. I imagine the railgun, albeit expensive, would have relatively inexpensive rounds. There's nothing really to them, being SABOT's. It's just a solid dart. You don't have to buy explosives, powder, etc.

And that potential range… You wouldn't even sense it coming. Just all of a sudden your buddies in the next speed boat over explode into confetti. By the time you spot the boat you've lost 20% of your boats to the railgun. Then comes the Griffin(s) Another few lost. Finally get within 500m, right? Time for RPG? "Wait… What's that sou—" Fccking F-18 just dropped a little grey coffin that's going to give the Sailors an advance screening of 4th of July. (Rated R for extreme violence)


chuck June 16, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Neat thing about the rail gun is it can be scaled up from a 20mm to 155mm guns, you can essentially dial in the energy needed (thus the projectile speed)to defeat the target, and the energy can be produced anywhere you want on the ship (indeed, the better distributed the energy sources, the more survivable the ship). Also, the guns produce no recoil to speak of, allowing them to use light weight mounts, and allowing the gun to traverse more quickly, and to track a targe more smoothly.


Musson June 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm

If you are swarmed by 30 to 50 speed boats – you better have a lot of tricks up your sleeve.


Somebody June 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Like a backpack nuke?


STemplar June 15, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Like bombing their bases before they are anywhere within range to swarm? Honestly this swarming boat thing is so damn over blown it is ridiculous. That little scenario only works for the Iranians if they launch a surprise attack and it only works once, for one day. After that, US air power would reduce Iranian naval assets to new reefs.


Tim June 17, 2012 at 11:38 am

Well. If you're a ship captain in a hot zone and all of a sudden got caught by a swarm of 30-50 speed boats "coming out from nowhere", then you shouldn't be a captain in the first place. Those boats don't simply appear in the water without someone knowing it.

One would assume that the enemy may try this tactic just once as a surprise, then it's all out war.


BD Cooper June 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm

An old battle ship could have just let these guys become a splat on the paintjob or for fun they could have just lowered one of the big guns to its lowest level and fired it:-) Problem solved


Boldar June 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Still prefer 5" blast fragmentation with a top end delivery of 30 rounds per minute – short work. Say hello to Allah for me (the guys in the speed boats), now look for the flash.


ian June 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm

A really cheap and easy solution is have a Marine stand on the bow with a Javelin missile.


Riceball June 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm

To be effective against a swarm you'd need a pretty good number of Marines with plenty of Javelins.


Technoweapon June 16, 2012 at 8:37 am

Which wouldn't be cheap. What does a Jav run these days? $60k per shot?


blight_ June 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Can't find cost numbers for Griffin, but allegedly Javelin is 40k per missile, 125k for the reusable CLU.

A pretty good number of Marines with Javelins + a pretty good number of Javelins…


Stag June 18, 2012 at 12:53 pm

And I quote: "The Javelin missile. The British army call it the Porsche because every round costs as much as a Porsche 911"

On a side note: Protect your soldiers and they'll protect you.


osdocii June 18, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I assume you're not serious. The ship isn't exactly going to be sitting still! I sure wouldn't want to be the Marine who has to keep his footing in the midst of a lot of high-speed tight turns, not to mention the ordnance being fired over and around him.


tribulationtime June 15, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Trials is one thing reality other. 35000 dollars per boat? they win the war. Problem! What we are talking about when we say Speedboat?. A boston waler? weapory 1 RPG 2 RPK 3AK so Gau-19 w/i Raufoss? A 120tonnes boat? weaponry more stand-off weapons than griffin range, so engage w/i 76mm superapid 200 rpm airburst or mark 45 127mm 5-7 rounds airburst splash a lot of sea surface. Current, integrate, cheaper, reliable and combat tested.


Technoweapon June 16, 2012 at 8:44 am

I'm fairly certain that speed boat means your stereotypical 4-6 man boat. Highly maneuverable, fast, decent range, hard to hit. Not a bad idea if you're going to target larger ships… If not for the array of weaponry afforded those larger ships.

Price is irrelevant. A swarm would be stomped by aircraft and ship-defense systems. Then that ship plots out where those boats came from and it's bye-bye base of origin. Or maybe we put up UAV's and follow the string to suppliers and other bases, eventually unraveling the whole operation. Then boom. One day of hard work for the Navy and that whole operation is smoked.


B_Smitty June 16, 2012 at 10:04 am

It's not just RPGs or HMGs. Iran has armed craft as small as the 16m PEYKAAP-II with anti-ship missiles.


blight_ June 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Those would be the C-701 or the TL-10?


tribulationtime June 16, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Price is irrelevant? before make cuts. I supouse you know that boats. Maneuverable not so, less with 2 or 3 meters waves. Fast? "stereotypical" don´t reach 25 knots. Decent range? 20-30 miles w/i a lot of fuel cans stored. Hard to hit? Yes, Griffin has not range, speed or maneuverable enought. At last I dubt it has better rate of kills than other cheaper solutions. Wikipedia-Kowsar missile 15-20 km vs 2km griffin.


tribulatiointime June 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm

April 18, 2012 During the demonstration, which took place late in the fourth quarter of 2011, a Griffin was fired from a land-based RAM launcher at a static target more than 3 kilometers (approximately 2 statute miles) away. The weapon, guided by GPS and laser, scored a direct hit on the target, achieving all demonstration objectives. New WEB of fabricant. New 2(same source) During the test, warfigthers fired a Griffin missile from a launcher at a static target more than 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) away. Using GPS coordinates generated by a tethered aerostat, the missile directly impacted the target, achieving all test objectives. more cheaper a Bofors 57mm (as LCS)


tribulationtime June 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Sorry!! vintage news


Tribulationtime June 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I forget 3km vs 5km it a lot of speed remained on missile. Again it is not needed, same role be cover with a cannon. It is worst if you have discard RAM to put Griffin.


blight_ June 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm

True, though the Griffin launcher looks a lot smaller tham RAM's: one would hope it could be mounted in places where RAM cannot, and thus the two would not be mutually exclusive.


Jayson November 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm

China and India will have to be part of any solution, but at the same time we connat say to them they connat develop. Climate change is a problem caused almost entirely by the developed world (China has only recently become a major GHG emitter, while the US have been a major emitter for a very long time, and China still have a much lower GHG per capita that the US).And these countries will continue to generate CO2 ten years into the future, making anything the West does moot. Nevertheless, it’s still a good idea to replace fossil fuels with other energy sources. We can’t depend on them forever.


Marcellus Hambrick June 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Some 30 or 40 mm deck guns would get the job done using proximity fuses. Would have a decent kill range as well.


BD Cooper June 18, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Looks like a new mission for the SGT York. Always thought they should have been a infantry support gun platform.


blight_ June 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Nothing wrong with the guns, just the fire control system. Hey look, a tree…!


George Gauthier June 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Why not a chain gun like the Bushmaster 25 mm automatic cannon which has an effective range out to 3,000 meters? That could engage all sorts of targets including swarms of small boats.


tiger June 15, 2012 at 8:46 pm

I was not impressed by the USCG trying to sink a trawler a few months back. The 25mm was just poking holes.


SJE June 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm

I agree. At the same time, that was target practice, not necessarily trying to sink it. In conflict, the attacking boats are moving fast, the hulls are under stress, so even poking holes will further stress the hull. More importantly, holes in a moving boat are going to quickly allow water in. It doesnt take much water to slow them down, making them an easier target.


TMB June 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Actually they were trying to sink it.


Lance June 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Looks cool for coastal patrol a fast attack missile boat. good for small water ways like the Persian gulf, the Baltic, or to make for the Philippines to better there small patrol navy. Cool boat idea though.


Theadore June 15, 2012 at 3:44 pm

What if the swarm was 20 jet skies with suicide drivers on a block of C4 or TNT and a simple switch that when the driver falls off the ski explodes, or a couple of rps strapped to the ski frame pre-aimed to say 500m?


blight_ June 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm

I think using frogmen would be faster…


Technoweapon June 16, 2012 at 8:49 am

I think the enemy would call off the attack due to jet skis being awesome and fun as hell.

On a serious note… I think it'd come down to the ship simply luring those jet skis out a bit until they run out of fuel. Then it becomes a rescue operation or turkey shoot.


STemplar June 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm

From a jet ski? Ever ride one? Not a swell idea for long hauls in any kid of wave conditions. Maybe 150 miles max range at cruise speeds, but if you are trying to overtake a USN surface force moving along at 30 knots I don't think it would even be possible for a jet ski launched from shore to do it.


osdocii June 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Pre-aimed? On a speedboat bouncing around all over the place? Not a sailor, are you?


JRL June 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm

More gold-plated nonsense whose actual primary mission is to protect the all-important continued escalation of share value for the patriotic American stockholder…

BTW, where exactly are these swarming hordes of kamikaze Islamic corsairs I've been hearing about for the last two decades?


Riceball June 15, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Iran is the primary threat when one talks about swarm tactics. They're known to have a good sized flotilla of small, armed speed boats and they're the ones that everybody is worried about because our ships are currently not that well equipped to deal with this sort of threat.


STemplar June 15, 2012 at 8:11 pm

They don't need to be, because a single carrier air wing can annihilate the entire Iranian navy. This non sense works once for the Iranians if they launch a surprise attack. After that, they are toast.


glass boy June 15, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Yeah they did a military excise like that. We lost. What if for some reason a ship is swarmed with boats, and air support would be too late. Why not some mini guns, and chain guns. Even some of our own boats, or a cobra gunship is better than having some missile tubes.


STemplar June 16, 2012 at 3:56 am

We learned is what we did, so maybe we wouldn't be stupid like we were in Millennium Challenge 2002 and sail an entire task force and USMC invasion force into the Gulf without dismantling the Iranian systems first.

JRL June 16, 2012 at 9:52 am

What nonsense. The real Iranian threat to USN vessels are their Chinese Silkworm missiles, not a bunch of fragile speedboats that can be blown outta the water with a single 40mm cannon shot from two miles away.

If the USN is serious about protecting their ships from suicidal Islamist swarms, they should stop wasting money on complex missiles that cost a hundred times more than their purported targets, and instead mount a couple batteries of proven and reliable automatic cannons (20-40mm) loaded with high explosive ammo.

But that would just work. And it wouldn't be bleeding-edge enough for the ambitious program management officer of today's USN , and that's what matters, I guess…


cиctema June 19, 2012 at 11:18 am

It's ok. Keep living the life of an ignorant sheep. Leave the real debates and protection to the sheep dogs. Stay home, stay lazy and get fat. There is nothing to fear when you are a sheep.

The Sheepdogs


Abe Lincoln: woot master June 15, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Slytherin won’t like this.


dan June 16, 2012 at 12:21 am

So they finally put Hellfires on boats, something they should have done two decades ago. Gave them a new name to hide this.


Don June 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm

These are NOT hellfire missiles. Hellfires are longer (at least 64 inches) and heavier (hellfire weighs in at a little over 100 pounds). I could have carried three of these for every one hellfire. It would have been great carying a six pack of these instead of two hellfires on my OH-58D.


PolicyWonk June 16, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Everyone loves missiles – but they are appallingly expensive per shot (maybe having some around would be useful – but not as the only weapon for this kind of defense). Guns are MUCH cheaper (and missile vendors hate them for it). The LCS needs a better way to defend itself from the swarms – and that better way is likely via chain guns.

What the LCS really needs are weapons that can "reach out and touch someone", thereby making it a dangerous opponent – or one that needs to be attacked with a good deal of caution.


Nick T. June 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm

With enough of these we can completely neutralize Irans naval capabilities (Har Har). Seriously, I like what applications this thing has going for it. Speedboats aside, anyone know if this thing can engage tanks effectively?


Chuck June 16, 2012 at 11:10 pm

Engage them certainly, destroying a modern MBT would require a special anti-tank warhead. The warheads are available, but might not have been integrated on the missile, although it might be a dual purpose warhead capable of defeating a tank. A 13 pound warhead is large enough to mess up most tanks. Having a HEAT warhead or better, an Explosively Formed Penetrator would be ideal though. The current target set for the missile would ideally use something like a Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) to avoid collateral damage while destroying anything in the immediate target area. But, this would not be ideal against a tank.


Reddevildemo June 18, 2012 at 8:56 am

Give me a couple mini guns and some Gung Ho sailors
, that's all it will take.


NativeSon June 18, 2012 at 9:34 am

Iran: What happens when the religious right gets a hold of government.


TinCanSailor June 19, 2012 at 11:18 pm

It just did in Egypt, stay tuned, film at 2300.


paul June 18, 2012 at 10:30 am

Has anyone considered an area denial weapon ? ie… some sort of CBU unit via cannon or mortar ? It sounds naive , but , I would be interested " why not ? "


ltfunk2 June 18, 2012 at 11:56 am

This is just sad. If the navy has to deploy a new weapon to defeat a bunch of guys in a woodern boat with an RPG then they have already lost.


kski June 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Upgrade all the surface combatants with additional point anti air defense like RAMs and CIWS' great for both the stupid Iranians and the Chicoms. And how bout a couple of extra five inchers and reinstate the battleships for onece.


Nightmare June 18, 2012 at 4:52 pm

More bullshit spending from the OBAMA administration, another toy to spend money on. All they need is to bring back PUFF the magic dragon. Works from any platform; worked in Nam. 50mm gatling gun, just listen to the whine and watch the smoke.


Keeper_of _Horses June 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Ah Folks…er consider this…the chances of the Iranian speed boats even leaving port to deploy against a battle group is PRETTY small. Chances are we already know where their boats are kept and chances are that Air power will sink the whole bloddy fleet before they leave port. Sorry to spoil the fun for the blue water Navy. but thae is the most likely scenario. End game!!


Zenpistolero June 20, 2012 at 4:07 am

I'm all for the wisdom of "Don't use a cannon to kill a mosquito", but you have to be able to consistently kill the mosquito some other way before you say the cannon is unnecessary or the threat of malaria is PRETTY small.
Those insignificant little boats buzzing around were enough to induce a fog-of-war condition sufficient to put a Navy ship captain into a fuzzy combat mindset. Captain Rogers of the USS Vincennes mistook an Iranian Airbus climbing to cruising altitude for an F-14 descending at his ship in an attack.

Underestimate the effect of small weapons platforms and fighting units at your peril.Those little speedboats are low enough to the water that they blink onto radar occasionally and then they disappear for a little while. Captain Rogers ran one of his 5" guns till it was out of ammo, then turned the ship to engage with his other gun until it jammed. Then he went back to the forward gun till it was empty again. You would think that all that shooting and the Aegis system would have been able to sink one of those insignificant little boats… but you would be wrong. Even with a cannon aimed by a space-age targeting system, he couldn't kill the "mosquito".


blight_ June 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Considering that Rogers was the only one to use weapons against civilian shipping, assuming that small boats can make navy captains lose their marbles is a stretch.


Guest June 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm

The solution already exists..Longbow Block 3. A single Army Longbow company can provide 24 hour coverage for ships in the narrow Straits passage, and could be operated from an austere land environment, or sea based, even from barges. And it already carries the chain gun, Hellfire, and 2.75" rockets that seem to be the preferred weapons for this type of thing.

…and the Navy could still feel free to bomb the shore bases, and have their ships wail away at leakers in some type of close in defense zone.


blight_ June 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm

They were going to field Ground Launched Hellfire: what about Sea-Launched Hellfire?


Robert June 19, 2012 at 9:05 am

Great Upgrade.

Lets eliminate all the small fast boats.

One rocket and a bunch of them eliminated.

How sweet it is !!!!!!!!!!!

Use all technology available to exterminate the pirates….



Joe June 19, 2012 at 9:12 am

LCS will have 30mm chain guns as well.


Infidel4LIFE June 19, 2012 at 11:57 am

the brits and french used them in libya. they knocked out tanks, armor. its effective. The LCS needs an inland strike capability. A HIMARS platform? GPS guided? YES.


Mastro June 19, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Well- great it works- but it really needs greater range- 4 miles to NLOS's 25 ?

Of course Griffin actually works- NLOS's range was scifi.

I just don't know how they will use Griffin- won't the 30 mm chain gun target the same speedboat? And then shoot down the Griffin?


Aceracer June 19, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Check out info here,, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-175_Griffin
Sez surface range is 3.5 miles.
Then when they get closer,,,Phalanx,,, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalanx_CIWS
THAT should do it!!!


Bob June 19, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Have to spend big bucks that could be used in a better way.


Homer June 21, 2012 at 8:04 am

i STILL SAY, put WOMEN OFF SHIPS, AND SUBAMRINES: women and ships are NOT helping the Navy! I know, I served abaord one vessel, the first w/women aboard and you never saw such a mess in your life! Don't kid me, go kid your grandma, women are Jonah's they do NOT belong on ships/subs….period!!


Homer June 21, 2012 at 8:21 am

Does anyone KNOW what happened to Col Allen West , Now congreesman West? i would like to know? Please advise….Was he reprimande as the other Col and go off w/a slap on the hand for whatever he did as the other col was accused and found guilty of adultery and so many other counts of insubordination? Curious?


Homer June 21, 2012 at 8:21 am

Col west…nahhhhh?


USN Retired June 21, 2012 at 9:48 am

A swarm of small boats(speed boats, jet ski, sail boat) got to be at least 10 or more to be somehow effective, and to repel this using this missle is a very expensive proposal. What happened to the Close In Weapons System (CIWS) and 50 cal. that has protected the ships for 30 years or more, these seems to be very effective. I know the government is trying to help create jobs, but little common sense tells me that my hard earned dollars should not be spent aimlessly by this bureaucarats and lobbyist. USN Retired 30YRS.


js warren June 21, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I see that the Navy never learned their lesson for Nam! when Iwas deployed on a 710 class destroyer (out of FRAM) , we had no small arms such as 3'50 OR 50 CAL WEAPONS for defending from small craft attacks.
NOTE in FRAM the Navy removed all these weapon even on some ships they removed a 5'38 mount. So in short somebody woke up and started in stalling smalls arms prior to deployment to NAM.


SPIRO July 13, 2012 at 5:50 am

When evaluating a weapon system you need to consider the enemy's reaction when fired at by this weapon system. The crew of the targeted speedboat will have one man at the stern will a smoke generating device and when they see the missiles being launched will embark on a 360 degree turn while laying
smoke. Smoke breaks up laser beams and may provide effective screen against Thermal Imaging sensors. A formation of speedboats can be screened by one of its members and can easily manage to creep in close to the ship without being effectively engaged but those high tech weapons.


chacko September 4, 2012 at 9:29 am

This is just a natural progression of the old defense-in-depth strategy used to counter anti-ship missiles. Navy ships will continue to be loaded with machine guns when in hostile waters, but this gives another layer of defense.


blight_ September 4, 2012 at 9:36 am

Griffin is for small boats, not sure it has anti-missile capability.

Anti-missile is the SeaRAM/CIWS combo, CIWS being equipped with a 20mm or someday, a laser.

I suppose this is analogous to the above, but adding something with more range than a 57mm cannon (LCS) or a fifty-cal. However, since the Griffin has a severe range penalty from being fired at ground level…would it outrange a 76?


prexybill October 30, 2012 at 1:49 am

Bring back the PT Boat armed to the teeth with modern weapons like the 30mm chain gun, GAU 19 .50 caliber 3-barreled gatling gun, the M197 3-barreled 20mm gatling gun, the Mk10 Mod 3/Mk47 Mod 0 AGL, the Mk2 Mod 1 (or later) 81mm mortar w/piggy-backed .50 caliber M2HB MG. and, of course, the Griffin missile, which could be carried in 9-missile pods similar to the ones used by late-war PT Boats.. The weapons could be remotely operated with the operators in an armored control center. The boats could be propelled by high-powered water jets for speeds in excess of 40 kts.,.and to allow the boats to operate in waters too shallow for even the LCS class vessels. Modern materials and a super-efficient high speed hull design combined with the Boston Whaler's inherent bouyancy concept could give the Navy a highly survivable patrol craft to supplement the Freedom and Independence classes. Oh, in addition, the stern could incorporate a ramp similar to the one on the Mark V SOC.
The boat should be capable of underway replenishment/refueling. The boat should be able to stay out at least a week w/o replenishment. and a range of about 3,000 miles at cruising speed. Of course, don't forget Radar, FLIR, etc.


Guest October 30, 2012 at 10:30 am

Stand up a whole new class of updated WWII PT boats? Good,the cheap route then.


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bevel450 June 15, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Sorry….the CIWS radar doesn't work that way, and the CIWS cannot be fired in a manual mode. At all.


STemplar June 16, 2012 at 3:58 am

More the reason to use stand off systems that work and presently exist as opposed to getting into some silly Xbox game of using .50cal's on boats that shouldn't have had ports to leave from,


Technoweapon June 16, 2012 at 8:54 am



Technoweapon June 16, 2012 at 8:56 am

Meant to go under Templar's comment.


Technoweapon June 16, 2012 at 9:03 am

The tactic of taking out the ports still stands. And for the hidden stuff we have these nice gentlemen called Marines.

You can't launch from a beach that's secured by Marines.


STemplar June 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm

You want guarantees you might try something other than war to talk about. It's all well and good to hide them from attack, but you still have to fuel them, arm them, have some place for the sailors to lay their wee heads for a nap. You have to be able to maintain them, the people in them need food and water. If you disperse them you have to be able to coordinate and if your C&C has been obliterated that's essentially impossible on the water. There is transit time and if you are dispersed too much you're never able to marshal enough resources to pose a real threat and given that our surface combatants move as fast or faster than 'fast attack' boats its unlikely they would be able to close distances and offer any real threat given all those factors.


orly? June 16, 2012 at 10:05 am

Not all US Navy ships use that mod fyi.

Also, PACFIRE is also possible, but not recommended.


orly? June 16, 2012 at 10:07 am

Sorry, you are incorrect.

To ensure that CIWS works correctly, it must be fired monthly.


SJE June 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm

You could be tracking it the entire way in, with a laser. Once they lift an RPG, you launch. They need a few seconds to position, aim and fire, and your missile has already hit.


Bolton June 18, 2012 at 8:09 am

Do you realize how big a ship the Wasp is? 4x 25 mm chain guns are not going to do anything to a swarm of boats except annoy them. In my meager opinion we should have more gun mounts on every ship. Especially on the ones that have more room on the weather decks to support it. Plus, how much practice are the shooters getting. The GM's on my first ship couldn't hit a barn if they tried with the 25mm because they never shot the thing. We had two mounts on the Bridge.


blight_ June 18, 2012 at 9:12 am

Considering that we have already deployed RAM to extend beyond CIWS for anti-missile, it makes sense to deploy Griffin to extend standoff range beyond that of 25mm cannon.


TrustButVerify June 19, 2012 at 4:01 am

I believe the OPFOR in MC02 had military capability equivalent to Israel, not Iran. That's not to say we shouldn't be prepared for "swarm" threat, of course.


blight_ June 19, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Oh, I didn't see that. How awesome.

Betting that external mounts may still make more sense, especially if you expect a cruise missile welcome, and want your SeaRAM free to engage the cruise missile.


STemplar June 20, 2012 at 3:06 am

It taught us don't sail through the Straits until the anti ship weapons are disabled.


Mastro June 21, 2012 at 2:22 am

The San Antonios and the LCS with SurW modules carry 30mm Chain guns.

Would you really lob a Griffin at a speedboat at its maximum range? Maybe- but that gap is pretty tight- basically 2 km.

A longer range Griffin is being developed I understand


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