- The Washington Times
Wednesday, May 4, 2022

The Air Force is getting into the ship-killing business with a modified torpedo-like bomb that split a cargo vessel in half last month during testing off the coast of Florida.

An F-15E Strike Eagle fighter dropped a modified GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) on a test ship in the Gulf of Mexico on April 28.

Developed by the Air Force Research Lab, the bomb uses GPS to track the enemy vessel and detonate beneath it as part of the Air Force‘s QUICKSINK program.

Air Force officials said QUICKSINK can be used against stationary and moving naval targets.

“QUICKSINK is unique in that it can provide new capabilities to existing and future (Department of Defense) weapons systems, giving combatant commanders and our national leaders’ new ways to defend against maritime threats,” Kirz Herzog, the Air Force Research Laboratory’s program manager, said in a statement.

Air Force officials say QUICKSINK gives them the ability to attack ships on a much wider and less cost-prohibitive scale than a submarine.

“Heavy-weight torpedoes are effective (and sinking large ships) but are expensive and employed by a small number of naval assets,” according to a statement from Maj. Andrew Swanson of the Air Force’s 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron.

While naval torpedoes are primarily used to sink enemy ships, they can reveal a submarine’s location and make it more vulnerable to a counterattack, officials said.

“With QUICKSINK, we have demonstrated a low-cost and more agile solution that has the potential to be employed by the majority of Air Force combat aircraft, providing combatant commanders and warfighters with more options,” Maj. Swanson said.

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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