Unmanned floating missile launchers linked to sensor network could help U.S. Navy gain firepower advantage

May 20, 2021
The loss of the SSGNs, along with the decommissioning of 22 old Ticonderoga-class cruisers, could cut by a fifth the fleet’s overall VLS capacity.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Navy is about to lose many vertical missile launchers that give a firepower advantage over any potential foe. There’s an obvious way to replace them, and Navy officials are beginning to explore the idea. Forbes reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

20 May 2021 -- An unmanned surface vessel (USV) could fit this role. Rather than wrapping a billion-dollar manned warship around every cluster of vertical launch system tubes, the Navy could develop a cheap USV that is little more than a floating magazine.

Missile barges could motor into a battle zone under their own power. Or auxiliary vessels could tow them. Once on station, they’d plug into a sensor network the fleet is developing.

Other vessels would spot targets for the barge. A human operator on a nearby ship or at some base on land then would order the barge to open fire. With the press of a button, scores of missiles could arc toward an enemy fleet. Cheaply.

Related: Electro-optical sensors key to missile defense

Related: Lockheed Martin to build Joint-Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) for Army helicopters and unmanned aircraft

Related: Lockheed Martin to provide Hellfire airborne missile launchers to militaries of four Asian countries

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Military Aerospace, create an account today!