America has shown its ability to destroy enemy warships by blowing a cargo ship out of the sea, as the threat of World War III looms with Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Eglin Air Force Base Integrated Test Team demonstrated what they describe as a new low-cost airborne capability to defeat maritime threats on April 28 of this year.
The Showcase in the Gulf of Mexico successfully destroyed a full-scale surface ship, causing it to break in two and sink.
While torpedoes primarily sink enemy ships via submarines, new methods explored under the QUICKSINK program can achieve anti-ship lethality with air-launched weapons, including modified JDAM precision-guided bombs from 2,000 lbs.
An F-15E Strike Eagle released a modified GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM, as part of the test, the second experiment of the Joint Capability Technology Demonstration QUICKSINK, or JCTD, funded by the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense. for Research and Engineering.
“QUICKSINK is a response to an urgent need to neutralize maritime threats to freedom around the world,” said Colonel Tony Meeks, Director of the AFRL Munitions Directorate.
“The men and women of this leadership are constantly finding ways to solve our nation’s greatest challenges.”
The test was successful through a collaborative effort with the AFRL, the 96th Test Wing’s 780th Test Squadron and the 53rd Wing’s 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron.
A statement from the AFRL explains, “AFRL scientists and engineers are developing a Weapons Open Systems Architecture, or WOSA, seeker to enable precise weapon placement.”
The QUICKSINK program, a partnership with the US Navy, aims to provide options to neutralize surface maritime threats while demonstrating the inherent flexibility of joint force.
“Heavy torpedoes are effective [at sinking large ships] but they are expensive and used by a small portion of naval assets,” said Major Andrew Swanson, 85th TES Division Chief of Advanced Programs.
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“With QUICKSINK, we have demonstrated an inexpensive and more agile solution that has the potential to be used by the majority of Air Force combat aircraft, giving combat commanders and fighters more options. .”
This latest experiment enabled the researchers to assess the scientific and technological issues associated with the QUICKSINK concept for operational use.
“A navy submarine has the capability to launch and destroy a ship with a single torpedo at any time, but the QUICKSINK JCTD aims to develop an inexpensive method of killing torpedoes from the air at a much higher rate and over a much larger area,” Herzog said.