The recent success in demonstrating a new antisurface warfare (ASUW) capability within the Tomahawk weapon system and the Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) was exciting, and former destroyermen are thrilled to see that initiative succeed and eager to see all the cruiser/destroyer (CruDes) team does with it. But sailors supporting the Ship Self-Defense System (SSDS) should be far more excited by its implication that another capability is lurking within our existing missile systems: the similar SUW capability of the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) Block 1 (and potentially the future Block 2 version under development).
Setting the Defense on the Offensive
The Ship Self-Defense System brings a new dimension that will have an impact on nearly the entire surface fleet.
By Commander John A. Lukacs IV, U.S. Navy