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US Navy 110907-N-PB383-160 Marines assigned to the Maritime Raid Force of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit conduct a casualty evacuation during a.jpg
ATLS-9701 in 2011
United States
Name: None
Builder: VT Halter Marine Shipbuilder, Moss Point, MS
Launched: 1998
In service: 1998-present
Homeport: Port Hueneme, Naval Base Ventura County
Status: in active service
General characteristics
Class and type: aerial target launch ship
Displacement: 857 t
Length: 264 ft 5 in (80.6 m)
Beam: 26 ft (7.9 m)
Draft: 6 ft 10 in (2.1 m) maximum
Propulsion: 2 x diesels, 2 shafts, 1,342 bhp
Speed: 8 knots (15 km/h)
Range: 1,000 nanometres (1.0×10−9 km)
Complement: unknown/classified
Armament: 2 BQM-74 launchers

ATLS-9701 is a small unnamed U.S. Navy active service auxiliary Aerial Target Launch Ship operated by the Pacific Targets and Marine Operations Division (PTMO), U.S. Department of the Navy.[1][2] The ship possesses VHF, UHF, Sat-Phone, NIPR/SIPRNET communication capabilities, equipped with Nobeltec Navigation system, and BQM-74 aerial targets launchers.[1]


ATLS-9701 was built in 1998 for MQM-8G Vandal Targets program run by the Naval Air Systems Command. She was used for firing the MQM-8G super-sonic targets simulating cruise missiles, which were reconfigured RIM-8 Talos long-range naval surface-to-air missiles, in order to test the Phalanx and RIM close-range defensive systems deployed by the Navy. MQM-8G's were remote-controlled, non-recoverable vehicles, 36.2 feet in length, 7.3 feet in diameter, and weighing 8,225 pounds.[3]

U.S Marines with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Maritime Raid Force fast-roped from Bell UH-1Y Venom onto the ATLS-9701 to train a VBSS mission

After the last MQM-8 targets were launched in 2005, the ATLS-9701 was converted to firing BQM-74 targets and also became a platform for the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy for VBSS maritime training, confined space clearing, on-ship container access, and testing helicopter fast-roping skills, among other activities.[1]

On April 4, 2013, ATLS-9701 was used by the members of the 13th MEU Maritime Raid Force, who fast-roped onto her from a CH-46 helicopter during VBSS training.[4] On January 11, 2015, the 15th MEU Maritime Raid Force exercised their boarding skills on the ATLS-9701 in the San Diego Bay during interoperability training.[5]

See also[edit]

  • Media related to ATLS-9701 at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ a b c ATLS-9701 Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ World Navies Today: US Navy Minor Auxiliaries & Yard Craft: ATLS 9701 drone launch ship
  3. ^ Navy Training System Plan for General Aerial Targets, January 2002,
  4. ^ 13th MEU, MRF, Train on Maritime Platform, DVIDS, Video by Cpl. Ammon Carter, VIRIN:130405-M-KX613-001 (Released)
  5. ^ MRF conducts interoperability training, DVIDS, U.S. Marine Corps photo by 1st Lt. Allison Burgos, VIRIN:150111-M-ZZ999-069 (Released)

External links[edit]