The U.S. Coast Guard’s first National Security Cutter, Bertholf (WMSL 750), conducted a structural test fire of its missile decoy launching system in the Southern California Operations Area of the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Tuesday, June 9, 2009.
The crew of CGC Bertholf, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, and the Navy Research Lab successfully launched two rounds from the Nulka Anti-Ship Missile Defense System. These MK-234 Nulka rounds hover in the air while attracting incoming anti-ship missiles.
This is the first time that a Nulka round has been launched from a Coast Guard cutter. The successful completion of the test fire was the first phase of the crew’s two-month multi-mission patrol which includes a counter drug patrol in the Eastern Pacific under the tactical control of Commander, Joint Interagency Task Force South for detection and monitoring, and under the tactical control of Commander, Coast Guard District Eleven for interdiction and apprehension.
At 418-feet, the Bertholf is the largest and most technically advanced class of cutter in the Coast Guard. Designed to be the flagships of the U.S. Coast Guard's modern fleet, the Legend-class National Security Cutters have state-of-the-market technologies and capabilities demanded by operational forces to meet the full spectrum of 21st century maritime homeland security, maritime safety, law enforcement and maritime national defense mission requirements.
With over 1,100 square miles of instrumented underwater range and over 42,000 square miles of controlled airspace, the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility is the world's largest instrumented multi-environment range capable of supporting surface, subsurface, air, and space operations simultaneously.
For more information: National Security Cutter project page