Longbow Hellfire missile
The USS Montgomery launces a Longbow Hellfire missile in the Pacific Ocean. Navy photo

A San Diego-based littoral combat ship has successfully demonstrated the capability to attack land targets with advanced Hellfire missiles, the Navy reported.

The USS Montgomery, a trimaran variant of the light warship class, fired three AGM-114L Longbow Hellfire missiles to strike a land-based target several nautical miles away on May 12.

The Navy did not say where the test occurred except that it was in the Pacific Ocean.

“This test proved the critical next step in increasing lethality of the littoral combat ship,” said Dustin Lonero, the Montgomery’s commanding officer. “Using our speed and shallow draft, we are now uniquely optimized to bring this level of firepower extremely close to shore in support of our warfighters and operators on the beach.”

The missiles were added to the warships in 2019 for use against swarming attack craft. Now they can also be fired at land targets. Each ship carries 24 of the missiles.

The Longbow Hellfire missile was developed from an Army anti-tank weapon. It has a range of over 5 miles and uses advanced laser guidance.

The trimaran version of the littoral combat ships are 418 feet in length and can reach speeds of over 50 mph. A total of 19 ships are planned, and all will be based in San Diego.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.