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U.S to test conventionally armed SLIRBM in 2008

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posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 03:39 AM

ATK and Lockheed Martin to Develop Conventional Ballistic Missile for U.S. Navy

Minneapolis, July 12, 2005 – Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) have been awarded a $9.2 million contract by the U.S. Navy’s Strategic Systems Program (SSP) office to demonstrate and validate solid rocket motor technologies suitable for a Submarine Launched Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (SLIRBM).

SLIRBM is a conventional missile concept that builds on the heritage the two companies share in U.S. Navy strategic missile development (Lockheed Martin and ATK provide the U.S. Navy with the submarine-launched Trident D5 nuclear ballistic missile). SLIRBM is designed to precisely deliver a conventional payload on target at ranges in excess of 1100 miles within 10-15 minutes of launch.

ATK and Lockheed Martin will develop SLIRBM using numerous off-the-shelf components to speed the development of a low-cost solution while minimizing program risk. The SLIRBM design will share common hardware across all stages of the propulsion system to shorten development time while keeping the missile’s cost and complexity to a minimum.

After completing ground demonstrations, ATK and Lockheed Martin will work to transition the program to the flight demonstration phase in the 2008 timeframe.

Link to entire article

I had heard they were discussing this, I am glad they have decided to go through with it.

posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 04:22 AM
My only problem is that the reaction to an inshore SLBM launch may be unpleasantly 'depressed trajectory nuke!' knee-jerkish. Even if you care to bring an Ohio that close to the littoral (SSK, Mines, Uncharted Whatever, Nets, Airborne Patrol ASW) threats. Not to mention the inherent complexity of coldgas ejecting anything remotely /close/ to the Tridents 75,000lb mass as a 'regular event' from a submerged boat.

Especially for those threats which are not nominally in need of a 3,000lb heft for a heavy penetrator; why not drop a Mach point or 5 and use VLS from standard FFG/DDG/CG class platforms to get to a similar distance, 5 minutes later and a 100,000ft 'can only splash between here and here' lower down? Rampropulsion can make all this happen in a 500-750lb warhead configuration which will still impact with upwards of ten times the penetration and kinetic release energy of todays TLAM.

Lastly, we are _rapidly_ approaching the point where DEWs and extended range 'upper tier' mechancial interceptors will not only denude our forces of traditional airpower in high threat regions but potentially put many missile systems at too-expensive-to-salvo risk.

Subsonic cruise is unreactive for popup targets, especially if you haven't actually /declared/ (decided upon) war and don't want to until the last second. But a Mach 2-4 weapon which can sustain the heavy buffet and thermal environment of a 500-1,500ft ingress profile also has a lot of potential to beat the trashfire on simple short-horizon basis while at least making lasers and HPM devices -work for the kill-.

CICBMs of any type are developmentally cheap as they use established technology baselines. But they may not be the best solution, strategically or tactically, for the situations we are increasingly likely to face in future.



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