The United States Navy Needs A Long Range “BITE”

The United States Navy has an anti ship missile. But it has a short coming, literally. It has a range of 70 miles. What it needs is one with a range of 1000 miles. Where is this missile? It does not exist. Where is it coming from and when? What stop gap measure is available? Read more in this article.

A Harpoon missile is launched from the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Shiloh during a live-fire exercise in 2014.
Wiki Image: A Harpoon missile is launched from the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Shiloh during a live-fire exercise in 2014.

 

As Reported By USA Today:

Daunted by Russia & China, US Navy scrambles to repurpose missiles as ship-killers

The US Navy wants to equip its fleet with ship-killing variants of currently used anti-air and cruise missiles, citing new capabilities developed by Russia and China. However, the new missiles may not be ready until the next decade – at best.

“It won’t be all the Tomahawks but a good number of them coming off the line will have it,” Vice-Admiral Joseph Mulloy, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, told USNI on Wednesday. “It’s going for surface first and the submarines will encapsulate it.”

The US Navy’s primary ship-killer is the RGM/UGM-84 Harpoon, developed in the 1970s by McDonnell-Douglas, now owned by Boeing. Capable of being fired from airplanes, surface ships and submarines, the Harpoon’s primary shortcoming is its very short range – less than 70 nautical miles (130km).

One of the Pentagon’s requests from Congress in the 2017 budget proposal is $434 million to upgrade about 250 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles (TLAM) so they can be used against ships as well. The modified missiles would have the range of up to 1,000 nautical miles (1852 km), the US Naval Institute reported.

Modifying the Tomahawk would give extended-range anti-ship capabilities to the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruisers, Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, all of the attack submarines and the four Ohio-class subs (SSGN) that had been converted from their ballistic role in the 2000s.

Another McDonnell-Douglas design, the BGM-109 Tomahawk first entered service in 1983, and has been used in combat since the 1991 Gulf War. An anti-ship version (UGM-109) was withdrawn from service in 1994, because its sensors were not good enough to ensure hitting a moving target. The land-attack Tomahawks are currently being built by Raytheon.

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