How the Air Force Could End Naval Dominance With One Fighter Jet

F-15E Strike Eagle Fighter Jet / Photo by Tomás Del Coro from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

When on the hunt for enemy warships, torpedoes are usually the ideal ship-killer. They pack an enormous explosive punch — literally capable of breaking a ship’s keel — and are difficult to defend against. But, the Air Force is exploring ways to target ships and other maritime targets from the air.

In an announcement, the U.S. Air Force outlined a recent test in which four F-15Es equipped with modified GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munitions validated the Air Force’s plan to sink ships from the air.

An Air Force Major and F-15E weapon systems officer explained why the novel GBU-31 employment is necessary. “For any large moving ship, the Air Force’s primary weapon is the 2,000-pound laser-guided GBU-24,” a family of glide-type bombs. “Not only is this weapon less than ideal, it also reduces our survivability based on how it must be employed. This munition can change all of that.”

Although the GBU-24 is known for pinpoint accuracy in ideal weather conditions, the bomb’s laser guidance sensor depends on a clear and uninterrupted laser tracking connection. In adverse weather conditions — through fog, rain, clouds, or weather phenomena like heavy smoke or dust — the bomb’s laser seeker cannot maintain contact, adversely affecting accuracy.

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Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
23 days ago

Ideal if near shore or fighters carry wing tanks, otherwise its all Navy

Tom Tucker
Tom Tucker
22 days ago

What’s the point? We are now a nation of chicken sht cowards, socialist’s and other free loaders and will bow to the will of China. So why do we need it? Just give up your guns, learn Mandarin and welcome your new dictators.

John
John
21 days ago
Reply to  Tom Tucker

Dont forget..our new military must be sensitive to others feelings and be inclusive and diverse…soon our marines and Seals will be weraing skirts and heels to match their beards.

Robert
Robert
22 days ago

THESE BUNKER BUSTERS employed in the method it was designed for work wonders. in adverse weather, fog smoke low visibility ,they might as well use iron bombs without the expensive extras. the flyboys in the hair-force need to go back to the drawing room and think this out a little better. and leave the booze corked.

Curly J
Curly J
22 days ago
Reply to  Robert

Six decades ago, the ADC AWACS equipment eliminated clutter, pinpointed targets via speed parameters identifying plane, train, truck, car, bicycle, pedestrian, etc. With the proper programming a drone could do the job at significant cost savings. It seems that when I extricated myself from the wing, they had supurb toys to experiment with. What happened? Did they just stop thinking? Are they WOK?
Vietnam Vet. We never forget, never forgive.

Gene Ralno
Gene Ralno
22 days ago

Not much information on this new Model 31 as it should be. No sense in jeopardizing it even one word at a time. And it makes more sense than using expensive subs for the water craft now fielded by the likes of Iran or even Russia (Old Smokey, aka Admiral Kuznetsov). I’m commenting because the work-at-home advertisers outnumber us by five to three.

Jawad
Jawad
22 days ago

Hi ADN…Can something please be done about the work-at-home ROBOTS that invade and contaminate this site like cockroach drones? They jeopardize the mission. Where are your EDITORS?

RJPD
RJPD
19 days ago

Uhrm…. Why not just carry anti ship missiles? This article reads like it was written for a World War 2 audience.

Thomas
18 days ago

Well, well, well does the taliban have that now that all those planes were left behind with the Amricans. The Chi Comms where every quick to get into afganasthan so they could buy up all out tech to copy. GOOD OLD CHI COMM JOE.

What a DEAL.


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