Northrop Grumman recently showed off its new maritime strike missile at the Navy League Sea-Air-Space Expo 2023. Although details were limited, the missile looks to have an intake under the nose, which could mean it has a ramjet or scram-jet engine and possible hypersonic speed capabilities. The strakes on the missile could help reduce drag, increase range, and boost overall speed. Joseph Trevithick at The War Zone writes abridged:
Northrop Grumman has unveiled a new long-range, fast-flying maritime strike missile concept that features an air-breathing propulsion system. This comes after a recent announcement that the company had partnered with Raytheon to develop a very similar-sounding missile as part of a project that will feed into future variants of the U.S. Army’s Precision Strike Missile.
A mockup of Northrop Grumman’s new missile is on display at the Navy League’s annual Sea-Air-Space conference and exhibition just outside Washington, D.C., which opened yesterday. The model depicting the maritime strike concept is situated below another one of the company’s AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER), which you can read more about here.
@northropgrumman unveils the new Maritime Strike Missile at #SAS2023. The missile appears to be an air launched Hypersonic weapon with an air breathing Ramjet engine. pic.twitter.com/2pn42ta0NY
— Defence Insider (@defence_insider) April 4, 2023
Details about the maritime strike missile concept are limited. A Northrop Grumman representative at the show told The War Zone that the design leverages past work the company has done and could conceivably be air-launched from a suitable platform, as well as surface launched, such as from a ship or ground-based launcher.
The Navy did just recently award contracts for the development of an air-launched anti-ship cruise missile as part of a program called Hypersonic Air-Launched Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare, or HALO. A Northrop Grumman/Raytheon team received one of those deals, but the representative at Sea-Air-Space told us that the maritime strike missile concept isn’t being developed right now in response to any particular requirement from a branch of the U.S. military or another customer. […]
The War Zone has reached out to Northrop Grumman for additional information about the maritime strike missile concept’s intended performance and capabilities, including how the company may expect to be guided to its target. The mockup has a solid nose that could indicate some kind of radar seeker, which is not uncommon for anti-ship missiles. The missile could also use some combination of inertial and satellite navigation to get to a target area first, which would give it a secondary capability against fixed targets ashore, as well.
It is just a mockup, so there is the possibility that a multi-mode guidance system could be part of the concept. Imaging infrared seekers, which offer increased accuracy and target discrimination, as well as resistance to electronic warfare and other countermeasures, are increasingly common on anti-ship weapons.
The appearance of the maritime strike missile concept at Sea-Air-Space 2023 comes just over a week after Northrop Grumman announced that it was partnering with Raytheon to develop an experimental long-range strike missile as part of the Army’s Long Range Maneuverable Fires (LRMF) program. The weapon the companies are developing together is called the DeepStrike-Extended Range (DeepStrike-ER), indicating that it is a derivative of Raytheon’s earlier DeepStrike short-range ballistic missile.
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