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AFRL set for further Quicksink tests

The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has revealed new details of a Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) designed to demonstrate a low-cost, air-delivered precision weapon for anti-ship strikes.

Known as Quicksink, the concept embodies an AFRL-developed Weapon Open Systems Architecture (WOSA) seeker integrated with a Boeing GBU-31/B Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). Having undertaken an initial experiment last year, the AFRL plans to participate in live sinking exercises (SINKEXs) later in 2022.

According to the AFRL, the Quicksink concept – not to be confused with the JDAM-derivative Quickstrike mine – has been developed as the answer to the need to rapidly neutralise surface threats over wide maritime areas worldwide. β€œA 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 seaworthy kills from the air at a much higher rate and over a much larger area,” it said, adding, β€œThis new capability will provide combatant commanders options to neutralise surface maritime threats and demonstrates the inherent flexibility of the joint force.”

The GBU-31/B JDAM variant marries a 2,000 lb BLU-109/MK 84 warhead with a tail control kit and GPS-aided inertial navigation system, enabling it to prosecute targets at fixed co-ordinates. The Quicksink JCTD integrates a new WOSA seeker kit into the JDAM munition to enable precision targeting of both stationary and moving maritime targets at low cost.

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