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    SCOPE: This coverage is of the U. S. Navy's Surface Effect Ship (SES-100B) successfully testing?

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    Background: SCOPE: This coverage is of the U. S. Navy's Surface Effect Ship (SES-100B) successfully testing a vertically-launched medium range guided missile while travelling at a speed of 60 knots (69 mph) in the Gulf of Mexico.

    BACKGROUND: The U.S. Navy made the first test firing of a weapon system from an advanced high-speed surface vessel and the first vertical launch of a SM-1 missile from a Navy ship on April 8.

    The U. S. Navy's SES-100B surface Effect Ship travelled at 70 miles per hour over the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast for the first firing. The Ship Commander headed towards the test course where the target vessel was positioned ten miles south of Fort Walton Beach on the English Test Range. The unarmed medium range guided missile was launched from a canister mounted off of the ship's deckhouse. As the predetermined launch point was reached, the launch controller initiated the firing sequence. The missile ignited in its canister, streaked skyward, and arcked westward towards the target vessel five miles down range.

    A high-speed camera mounted on the target ship recorded the direct hit and subsequent splash into the Gulf at 1,000 frames per second. Another view of the vertical launch from the SES-100B travelling at 70 miles per hour was recorded from a Navy patrol boat nearby. This stop-action film shows the SM-1 missile as it was viewed by a high-speed camera mounted on the target. The missile struck the camera mount. The SES-100B continued on it's course and the crew inspected the structural damage of the target. The SES crew then mounted a broom on the launching canister to signify the traditional "clean sweep" of the mission.

    The successful missile launching was one of the many significant accomplishments for the SES-100B which was developed by Bell Aerospace Textron at New Orleans, Louisiana. The test craft, which set the world speed record of 95 miles per hour last year, is gathering the technical data required for building and operating the next generation of large ocean-going Surface Effect Ships.

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