Naval Weapons

Sea Shrike submarine payload plan suggests hypersonic missile link

13 March 2020

The US Navy (USN) has revealed plans to contract Northrop Grumman for the development of a payload module to enable the integration an undisclosed weapon system on Virginia-class nuclear powered attack submarines (SSNs).

While the service declines to make any public comment on the plan, the so-called Sea Shrike Advanced Payload Module (APM) is most likely associated with efforts to introduce a new hypersonic Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) weapon on board Virginia-class SSNs. The CPS weapon system is intended to deliver a hypersonic conventional offensive strike capability through a depressed boost-glide trajectory to prosecute deep-inland, time-critical, soft- and medium-hardened targets in contested environments.

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