A new type of weapon capable of making a “quick hit” on an enemy from anywhere in the world could be loaded onto a US Navy stealth destroyer.
The Conventional Rapid Strike System (CPS), which has not yet been field tested, is designed to strike anywhere in an hour and could be loaded onto the USS Zumwalt.
The Zumwalt is a new class of guided missile destroyers and its captain, Kevin Smith, told Fox News that it would be the perfect platform for the future weapon system.
The missile is capable of flying five times faster than sound by using rocket thrusters to enter space, then “leaping” above the upper atmosphere to attach itself to its target.
The missiles will carry conventional warheads and have the same speed and range as a nuclear ICBM, Fox news reports.
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The conventional Prompt Strike system, which has not been field tested, was designed to strike anywhere in an hour and could be loaded onto the USS Zumwalt. Image bank
The idea is to allow “rapid attacks” against enemy targets at a safe distance at the start of a conflict, according to reports on the Weapons Platform.
The next test flight for the CPS missile is not expected until the end of the year, with further tests in 2022 and no fixed date for when it will be combat-ready.
The weapon system uses Common-Hypersonic Glide Body technology developed for the Navy. It is a new system designed for non-ballistic missiles.
It uses a booster rocket to achieve hypersonic speed, but then ejects the thruster as it enters the upper atmosphere, according to Lockhead Martin, who has a multi-million dollar contract with the Navy to build the weapons.
Being able to “jump” between the upper atmosphere and space makes it very difficult to detect and each jump helps determine the final point of impact.
Fox News reports that this would allow rapid attacks on an enemy target without having to wait to deploy soldiers and other assets.
The idea of a conventional, fast-striking weapon first arose when George W Bush was president, with the aim of creating “tactical surprise” when conflict broke out.
Being able to fire it from a destroyer would be more strategic than firing from land, according to the captain of the Zumwalt.
Arming a ship with the new weapon aligns with plans to create a “first-rate strike platform in the surface fleet,” according to Vice-Admiral Rich Brown, commander of the surface naval forces.
The Zumwalt’s “stealth characteristics” and the fact that it can operate in the depths of the ocean also help make it the best choice to host the Conventional Prompt Strike platform, Captain Smith told Fox News.
“The inherent ability of this ship lies in the signatures. It’s designed to be stealthy and take the fight offensively to the opponent, ”said Captain Smith.
The new weapon is currently not ready for deployment and there have been issues throughout its long development process.
This means he is only “seen” as an option for the Zumwalt, who are expected to be combat-ready by 2021.
In 2019, the Pentagon asked Congress for an additional $ 77 million to develop the platform, from $ 201 million in 2018 to $ 278 million last year.
However, there has been some opposition to the development of a missile that can travel at the same speed, range and trajectory as a nuclear warhead.
Those opposed to the project say it could confuse the exact nature of the attack and trigger a nuclear response.
The Zumwalt is a new class of guided missile destroyers and its captain, Kevin Smith, told Fox News that it would be the perfect platform for the future weapon system. Image bank
The developers claim that signing any attack with the CPS would be different from a nuclear attack and that the weapon is intended to “complement the conventional capabilities of the United States” rather than act as a nuclear substitute.
The Zumwalt is the first in a class of three new stealth destroyers. The other two are called the Michael Monsoor and the Lyndon B. Johnson.
Ships with an unusual and stealthy shape are the largest and most expensive destroyers built for the Navy, weighing 15,000 tons.
They feature an unconventional hull that pierces the waves and a sleek deckhouse that hides radar and other sensors inside.
Heavy automation allowed the Navy to cut crew size in half, compared to other destroyers in the fleet.
WHAT IS AN ICBM?
An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is a long-range weapon used to deliver warheads to distant targets.
It is a type of ballistic missile, which is propelled and guided towards a target but falls on it by gravity.
This means that the trajectory of the missiles is a high and arcuate trajectory.
To be classified as an ICBM, a missile must carry a warhead over 3,400 miles (5,400 km) either in the air or in space.
Those who travel through space – which includes almost all nuclear missiles – are painstakingly designed to survive the heat and pressure of reentry.
ICBMs typically provide nuclear weapons, but can also carry conventional warheads.