By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Wyatt L. Anthony USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs
USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, at sea (May 19, 2014) – The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt’s (CVN 71) close in weapons system (CIWS) successfully tracked and fired upon a mobile surface target during a Combat System Ship Qualification Trial (CSSQT) surface gun exercise (GUNEX), May 19.
The CIWS, a 20 mm radar-guided Gatling gun system, fires 75 rounds per second and protects the ship from surface and air threats. It uses forward looking infrared radar (FLIR) and other radar systems to track, lock on and take down incoming threats.
“If there was to be a malfunction with the ship’s other weapons systems, the CIWS would be the last resort self-defense system to protect us from approaching enemies,” said Fire Controlman 1st Class Kevin Landry assigned to Combat Systems Department’s CS-7 division.
CSSQT surface GUNEXs are performed when a ship begins workups toward deployment.
“Combat System Ship Qualification Trials are workups that ships must go through to ensure that the Sailors know how to properly work the weapons systems and equipment, and, overall, prove combat readiness,” said Fire Controlman 1st Class Mandale Washington, the Program Executive Office Integrated Weapons Systems fleet liaison.
For the surface GUNEX, the CIWS tracked and fired upon a single target towed by an unmanned drone boat approaching TR faster than 10 knots.
A fire contolman will pick up an approaching target using an infrared camera before locking onto the target and preparing to fire. Once the CIWS fires it can track the trajectory of its bullets and quickly offset any errors.
“I think today went extremely well for this being the first time we have fired the CIWS at targets since we’ve gotten out of the yards,” said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Andrew Friedlander, CIWS mount 24 mount captain. “Everyone stepped up and came together today to make this a successful exercise.”