Empowering defense capabilities is not an everyday topic of conversation. However, the Navy is finding new ways to keep our country safe and free.
When you watch the news, you can’t escape the fact that our world is becoming increasingly dangerous. China, Iran, Russia, and other countries are leveraging the latest technology and science into their weapons.
Understandably we must do the same. In the words of Capt. Richard Gensley, Precision Strike Weapons program manager, “As threat capability continues to advance, additional range, warfare capability and capacity is required to address the more demanding threat environment.”
Time For a Serious Conversation: Empowering Defense Capabilities
At first, news about empowering defense capabilities might seem like a strange topic for our blog. However, ER Precision Optics has experience providing new and better technology for the US Department of Defense. This is evidenced in our “Beast of the Battlefield” Blog. Thus, it is not at all strange for us to report on the newest weapons and their capabilities.
Wake up to the Reality of 21st-century Defense
You might not like to think about the tensions of war. However, it is reassuring to know your defense dollars are being spent on updating weapons technology to keep our way of life secure. Let’s look at how the Navy is creating new missiles chocked-full of the latest technological discoveries.
Of course, the Air Force and the Army have similar hypersonic programs. However, today we are focusing on announcements from the Navy. Therefore, this blog will bring you some recent news about the Navy’s newest missile project: Ship-Killing Missiles.
Navy Introduces Ship-Killing Missiles
We don’t want to alarm you, but… “The focus on anti-ship capabilities reflects the focus on a potential conflict with China in the western Pacific Ocean.” The Navy conducted simulations of a battle over Taiwan. The results revealed that such conflict could be resolved only by effective long-range anti-ship missiles. Thus, we see the rise of some new hypersonic missiles.
“HALO” is More than a Video Game
In recent years, a video game named HALO became immensely popular. Today, the anagram HALO means much more. Now it stands for (Hypersonic Air-launched Offensive).
We saw that Lockheed-Martin and Raytheon won contracts for $116 million from the U.S. Navy. Both companies are developing ship-sinking hypersonic missiles. To put it simply, these long-range missiles will sink ships hundreds of miles away. This was reported in Popular Mechanics Magazine by writer Sebastien Roblin. That is why they call them the “ship-killers.”
The Details Behind the Ship-killing Missiles
Of course, they are still discussing initial designs. However, we understand a few details already.
1. It will probably be scramjet-powered.
2. The Navy has also named the new missile an “Objective Anti-Surface Warfare Increment 2 (OASuW) in Navy budget documents.”
3. Carrier-based FA-18E/F Super Hornet and F-35 Lightening jet fighters.
4. The new missiles will fly farther and faster than the current gold standard, the LRASM stealth cruise missile.
What’s the Need for Empowering Defense?
The Need for Speed in US Defense Capabilities: On the one hand, the Navy has a hypersonic glide vehicle weapon. The Navy Calls It Prompt Strike. It hits static targets by design. The Navy installs these in the vertical launch cells of the US Virginia-class submarines.
Likewise, the Zumwalt class stealth destroyers carry them. But it’s a glide vehicle, not a scram jet-powered missile.
On the other hand, the Navy has two premium anti-ship missiles. One is the AGM-A58C LRASM. The other is “the longer-ranged Maritime Strike Tomahawk. We can’t disregard our shorter-ranged Harpoon and Naval Strike Missiles. They can kill a ship, but all of these fly below the speed of sound. There are a few more different missiles with special usages, but they too, are subsonic.
HALO Will Have What Others Do Not
The point is that “the Navy has anti-ship missiles and will soon have hypersonic missiles. But we have no weapon with both.” However, Russia and China both have scramjet-powered cruise missiles. Thus, we have the need for speed with long-range power. HALO will give us both.
HALO Needs Technological Development Before Empowering Our Defense Capabilities
However, HALO won’t be ready to empower defense capabilities until 2028 or 2030. Meanwhile, the Navy will continue to update the hardware and software in the LRASM missiles.
You see, currently, it’s possible for the enemy to detect the subsonic LRASM through optical and infrared sensors. The closer it gets to the enemy target, the more likely the enemy can destroy it. It’s just too slow.
Hypersonic Speed Empowers HALO
But the Navy will design HALO for speed. “Cutting-edge warships tend to have powerful air defense radars and multi-layered air defense systems…” Such systems are armed with “dozens of missiles and multiple close-defense Gatling cannons.” Therefore, only fast missiles will be able to penetrate the enemy technologies.
Speed also empowers defense capabilities by getting the missile to target before the enemy can throw all its offensive weapons at us.
Terrific Take-away from Empowering our Defense Capability
We think it is extremely smart of the Navy to have both the stealth of the slower LRASMs and the incredible speed of the HALO. We are proud that giving the Navy both options will be part of empowering our defense capability.
Special Note: As we have stated previously, none of these high-tech developments in warfare or space exploration, or your own home computer would be possible without manufacturing and crystal-growing from companies like ER Precision Optics. We create the small stuff that makes the big stuff possible.