The Navy has a new ship-killer missile to take on China - and it just used it to sink an old warship
- The littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords fired the Naval Strike Missile during an exercise near Guam on Tuesday - the first time the missile had been fired in the Indo-Pacific region.
- The drill, part of the Pacific Griffin exercise, sank the decommissioned frigate USS Ford.
- The NSM is precision-guided, with a large warhead built to destroy targets, according to Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
- "You can hit most areas in the South China Sea if you're in the middle" of that sea, Clark said.
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The littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords launched a Naval Strike Missile on Tuesday, marking the first time the NSM has been fired in the Indo-Pacific region, the Navy told Insider.
The NSM, along with additional firepower from US and Singaporean forces, sank the decomissioned frigate USS Ford as part of an exercise with Singapore's navy in the Philippine Sea on Tuesday.The Gabrielle Giffords, along with US Navy helicopters, ships, and submarines and Singaporean navy ships, conducted the exercise as part of Pacific Griffin, a biennial exercise in the Pacific near Guam.
"LCS packs a punch and gives potential adversaries another reason to stay awake at night," Rear Adm. Joey Tynch said in a statement. "We are stronger when we sail together with our friends and partners, and LCS is an important addition to the lineup."
The NSM, made by Raytheon, is a stealthy, long-range missile capable of hitting targets up to 100 nautical miles away. It flies at low altitudes and can rise and fall to follow the terrain, and it can evade missile-defense systems.
Read on to learn more about the Pacific Griffin exercise and the sinking of the USS Ford.