By 1st Lt Lindsey Heflin, 53rd Wing
Partnering with the Air Force Research Laboratory, the F-15E crews developed and demonstrated new tactics, techniques, and procedures for employing modified 2,000-pound GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munitions on both moving and static maritime targets.
The goal of this test was to validate a new way to employ air-delivered munitions on ships that will change the maritime target lethality paradigm.
“For any large moving ship, the Air Force’s primary weapon is the 2,000-pound laser guided GBU-24,” said Maj. Andrew Swanson, 85th TES F-15E weapons system officer. “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.”
A Navy submarine has the ability to launch and destroy a ship with a single torpedo at any time, but by launching that weapon it gives away the location of the vessel. The QUICKSINK JCTD aims to develop a low-cost method of achieving torpedo-like seaworthy kills from the air.
This test builds on a previous 53rd Wing test conducted last year where the B-52H Stratofortress from the 49th TES dropped JDAMs in order to assess the viability of specific maritime impact conditions.