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Integrated Maritime Portable Acoustic Scoring & Simulation (IMPASS) System Live Firing Brief (Mod 11). Mission Objectives. Certify CIC and gun weapons system personnel to deliver NSFS to a landing force under simulated combat conditions

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Integrated maritime portable acoustic scoring simulation impass system live firing brief mod 11

Integrated Maritime Portable Acoustic Scoring & Simulation (IMPASS) System

Live Firing Brief

(Mod 11)

Mission Objectives (IMPASS) System

Certify CIC and gun weapons system personnel to deliver NSFS to a landing force under simulated combat conditions

Conduct NSFS certification (FIREX) IAW FXP-5 (B) and the SFEM (COMNAVPACINST/ COMNAVLANTINST 3500.11)

Gather data for BL&P scoring threshold and IMPASS Block III system performance

Familiarize shipboard personnel in the use and operation of IMPASS

Environmental Regulatory Compliance (IMPASS) System

  • Through informal consultation under the Endangered Species Act, the Navy and National Marine Fisheries Service have agreed to the following marine life mitigation measures in order to minimize impacts to protected marine species:

    • Marine mammal/sea turtle lookouts will have completed the US Navy Marine Species Awareness Training

    • Approx 1 hour pre-exercise monitoring of target area conducted with “big eyes” during deployment and transit to firing position

    • The ship will not fire on the target area if any marine mammals or sea turtles are detected within or approaching the buoy field/ target area until the area is cleared

Environmental Regulatory Compliance (IMPASS) System

  • Passive acoustic sonobuoys (3 DIFARS) will be deployed during the IMPASS buoy deployment (DIFARS dropped at buoy positions 2, 4 and 5) (See LOI for NCEA)

  • If an animal is sighted or detected in, or moving towards the buoy field, contact the IMPASS Team Leader. If Team Leader and CO concur, the exercise will be temporarily halted while the ship conducts visual clearance of the buoy field for 15-20 minutes or until the animal has been visually observed to have cleared the buoy field and is heading away from the Impact Zone

Environmental Regulatory Compliance (IMPASS) System

  • Post-exercise monitoring of the entire impact area during retrieval of the IMPASS buoys will take place with “Big Eyes” and the naked eye following the exercise

  • Any injured sea turtle or marine mammal sighted during the exercise will be reported immediately via UNIT SITREP

  • Naval vessels should avoid approaching any whale or sea turtle head on, and should maneuver to maintain at least 460m (500 yds) from any observed whale or sea turtle

Environmental Regulatory Compliance (IMPASS) System

  • If a marine mammal is detected within 70 yards of the firing platform the FIREX will be suspended until the marine mammal is outside of the 70 yard perimeter

70 Yds

Temporarily suspend FIREX

Pre event planning
Pre-Event Planning (IMPASS) System

  • Establish/Verify FSA for exercise (IAW LOI and FACSFAC OPSKED)

  • Pre-plan buoy drop coordinates (Buoy coordinates provided by IMPASS Team)

Buoy deployment
Buoy Deployment (IMPASS) System

  • No-Go criteria

    • Sea state 3 or greater at time of deployment or forecast to be 3 or greater at time of recovery

    • Reduced visibility

      • Optimum visibility allows

        ship to observe fall of shot

    • Lightning

      • Deployment/recovery will be

        suspended when lightning is


Event set up
Event Set-up (IMPASS) System

  • Day of exercise:

    • Muster buoy handling team 1 hour prior to sunrise

    • Require helo hangar doors to be open (If applicable)

    • Require topside lighting for moving buoys safely

    • Mount two radio repeaters - one on each bridge wing

    • Set-up IMPASS control station on bridge data modem & 2 laptops (Stbd side preferred)

Assembly deployment
Assembly/Deployment (IMPASS) System

Supervised by IMPASS TEAM with a minimum of 10 support personnel from ship’s company

Xbt sound velocity
XBT – Sound Velocity (IMPASS) System

  • Ship’s sonar tech deploys XBT at buoy position 1

  • Provide sound velocity profile data and graph to IMPASS operator on bridge

    • IMPASS operator will compare XBT data to IMPASS generated sound velocity data

  • IMPASS requires sound velocity data to be manually entered into system for accurate solutions

Buoy Deployment (IMPASS) System

  • Buoy deployment requires 30-45 minutes from first position

    • RHIB at the ready

    • Request SPY be placed in standby while buoys are topside and remain in standby until ship is three miles from buoy field

  • Drop buoys at pre-determined positions

    • Use ship’s NAV to drive ship to drop-off points

    • Buoys lowered from fantail and dropped on command from Bridge (Require communications directly with bridge and countdown to drop point)

Buoy Deployment (IMPASS) System

  • Drop buoys at pre-determined positions

    • Drop as close as possible to pre-planned coordinates (Not precision anchorage type exercise)

    • Ship should maintain a steady course through the buoy drop point at 4-5 knots for optimum buoy deployment and to provide good opening speed once buoy is deployed

    • Ship SHOULD not back down, twist or turn until buoy is clear

    • IMPASS team member on fantail will indicate when buoy is clear and ship is safe to maneuver

    • Upon completion of buoy field deployment, TEAM IMPASS will provide recommended position for ship to start first firing run

2 (IMPASS) System










Buoy Deployment

Pentagon pattern with each side approx 1000m (~1.6 km across field)

Center Buoy 800m south of Northern Buoy (Center of Field)

2 (IMPASS) System

Ships track will normally be a North / South course, the platform will shoot from the East to the Westmaintaining a firing range of 10K-14K yds from the center of the buoy field









Buoy Deployment

Chart lock down

Lock Down Area (IMPASS) System



Zone of Fire



Chart Lock Down


Initial Ballistic Computation and Velocimeter set up (IMPASS) System

  • IBC manually computed based on current data, Delta corrections computed from Smooth Log, PAC/Shoot IV data base for type of round/powder AUR # (all up round number) to be shot

  • IBC procedures are contained in:

    • SW300-BD-ORD-010/(U): Preparation, Analysis and Predicted Accuracy of Naval Gunnery

  • Manually enter computed IBC data at GMCP

Initial Ballistic Computation and Velocimeter set up (cont.) (IMPASS) System

  • Velocimeter for Surface gunnery is in MANUAL operation, NEVER IN AUTOMATIC due to spot pyramiding effect

Conduct of exercise
Conduct of Exercise (IMPASS) System

  • Deploy buoys in fire support area at first light andafter IMPASS operator on bridge establishes comms with all buoys

  • Ship conduct PMS PAC fires en route to FSA

  • IMPASS detection (Practice mission/5 Rounds)

    • BL&P (AT MY COMMAND) start near center of buoy field and adjust inside of buoy field to determine BL&P vice HE

    • 80% scoring of BL&P required

Conduct of exercise1
Conduct of Exercise (IMPASS) System

  • Conduct trend analysis (MT 51/52)

  • Conduct trend analysis verification (MT 51/52)

  • Commence FIREX

    • Real-time initial salvo error (ISE) and adjustments to target provided in meters

  • Altitude will be called in as normal for fire missions but WILL NOT be entered into fire control system

Exercise requirements
Exercise Requirements (IMPASS) System

  • Dummy circuit with speaker on bridge

  • Reduced Charge and Illumination Rounds

  • Secure CHT Pumping (Stbd) during buoy deployment

  • 5 float coats for buoy deployment team

  • Round count by NALC and nomenclature and rounds fired per mount upon completion of event

FIREX Requirements (IMPASS) System

  • As of 01 October 2005, the FIREX consists of the following 6 missions:

  • Area Target

  • Danger Close

  • Coordinated Illumination

  • Countermech Series

  • SEAD

  • Refire

  • Observed Areas:

  • Reduced Charge

  • Checkfiring

  • Grid/Polar/Shift

FIREX I Requirements (IMPASS) System

FIREX Requirements (IMPASS) System

Conduct of exercise2
Conduct of Exercise (IMPASS) System

  • IMPASS team will provide buoy radar contact log sheet for tracking buoys during the event

  • Updated buoy position will be logged approximately every30 minutes as follows:

    • Ship’s Bridge Navigation team will receive GPS bearing and range updates from IMPASS team

  • Radar log sheet to be returned to IMPASS Team leader upon completion of event

Loss of Buoy Comms/GPS (IMPASS) System

  • Suspend FIREX event if Comms/GPS position is lost and IMMEDIATELY RECOVER the buoy

    • Plot Estimated Position (EP) on NAV chart

    • Drive ship through last known position to EP

    • Conduct expanding square search (500 yard expansion) at EP if buoy not located

    • Buoys are equipped with strobe lights and a radar reflector

  • Contact CNSL SDO if search interrupts FIREX

  • CNSL will be notified if unable to recover all buoys. CO will make recommendation to continue or suspend search

Retrieval Procedures (IMPASS) System

  • Break off from FIREX and begin buoy recovery with 2 hours of good visibility/2 hours prior to sunset (Sea State 3)

    • Secure SPY prior to closing within 3 miles of buoy field

    • IMPASS team provides range and bearing to each buoy

    • Recommend 2 RHIBs to expedite buoy recovery

    • 3 personnel required to lift buoy into RHIB and disassemble

    • Maximum 3 buoys per RHIB due to weight of buoys and to prevent damage to buoys

    • Buoys unloaded from RHIB at the rail or after RHIB has been recovered and in the skids

    • Buoys disassembled, cleaned (fresh water source and rags required), and system repacked and secured by buoy handling team

    • Total time: Maximum 2 hours

Ship’s FIREX SOE Summary (IMPASS) System

  • 1 Hour prior to Sunrise – Man Buoy Handling Team

    • Boat Crew Manned/Starboard CHT secured prior to buoy deployment

  • First light/Comms & GPS Established – Deploy Buoys (45 min)

  • 3 NM from Buoy field – SPY up, conduct PAC fire

  • At start position – Conduct first time check & commence Nav

  • Nav Set – Report ready, conduct preliminary missions:

    • IMPASS Detection, determine BL&P vice HE

    • Trend Analysis (Calibrate guns to buoy field)

    • Trend Analysis Verification (Verify spots from trend analysis)

  • Receive Pre-arranged area target grids for schedule of fires

  • Ask any questions prior to start of FIREX

  • Send second time check and required reports to set H-Hour and start event

Lessons learned
Lessons Learned (IMPASS) System

  • Average starting time for FIREX is 1000-1100 due to pre-FIREX requirements:

    • Repositioning

    • Locking down the chart

    • Pac Fires

    • IMPASS Calibration

    • Trend Analysis/Trend Analysis Verification

  • Ship should start “Securite” calls early and aggressively monitor hot area for surface traffic to ensure area is clear for event

Lessons learned cont
Lessons Learned (IMPASS) System (cont.)

  • Same powder lots should be used throughout the FIREX

  • Success of FIREX is dependent upon ability of ship to smoothly transition from one phase of event to the next

  • Buoys can be tracked by radar out to 7 NMs

  • Use non-firing time to visually check hot area

  • Buoys can be seen at 1,000 yards

    • Coach lookouts with GPS/radar bearing and range

    • Look under horizon for vertical mast

    • Small boat has better height of eye