US shows off ability to destroy enemy warships by blasting cargo ship out of sea

America has shown off its ability to destroy enemy warships by blasting a cargo ship out of the sea, as the threat of World War Three looms large with Russia's aggression in Ukraine.

The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Eglin Air Force Base's Integrated Test Team demonstrated what they describe as a new low-cost, air-delivered capability for defeating maritime threats on April 28 thus year

The showcase in the Gulf of Mexico successfully destroyed a full-scale surface vessel causing it to break in half and sink.

While torpedoes predominantly sink enemy ships via submarines, new methods explored through the QUICKSINK program may achieve anti-ship lethality with air-launched weapons, including modified 2,000-pound JDAM precision-guided bombs.

An F-15E Strike Eagle released one modified GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM, as part of the test, the second experiment in the QUICKSINK Joint Capability Technology Demonstration, or JCTD, funded by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.

“QUICKSINK is an answer to an urgent need to neutralise maritime threats to freedom around the world,” said Col. Tony Meeks, director of AFRL’s Munitions Directorate.

“The men and women of this directorate consistently find ways to solve our nation’s greatest challenges.”

The test succeeded through a collaborative effort with AFRL, the 780th Test Squadron of the 96th Test Wing, and the 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron of the 53rd Wing.

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An AFRL statement explains: “AFRL scientists and engineers are developing a weapon open systems architecture, or WOSA, seeker to enable precise placement of the weapon."

The QUICKSINK program, a partnership with the U.S. Navy, aims to provide options to neutralise surface maritime threats while demonstrating the inherent flexibility of the joint force.

“Heavy-weight torpedoes are effective [at sinking large ships] but are expensive and employed by a small portion of naval assets,” said Maj. Andrew Swanson, 85th TES division chief of Advanced Programs.

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“With QUICKSINK, we have demonstrated a low-cost and more agile solution that has the potential to be employed by the majority of Air Force combat aircraft, providing combatant commanders and warfighters with more options.”

This latest experiment allowed researchers to assess the scientific and technology challenges associated with the QUICKSINK concept for operational use.

“A Navy submarine has the ability to launch and destroy a ship with a single torpedo at any time, but the QUICKSINK JCTD aims to develop a low-cost method of achieving torpedo-like kills from the air at a much higher rate and over a much larger area,” said Herzog.

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