Warplanes: September 3, 2000

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end of 2002.--Stephen V Cole

Britain has decided to buy AGM-65G2 Maverick anti-tank missiles to arm its Harriers until the new Brimstone missile is available. The British may also buy Paveway GPS-guided bomb kits as well.--Stephen V Cole

August 28, 2000; The US and British Air Forces are both studying ideas for new cruise missiles, and have found their plans sufficiently similar that they may try to fuse the two programs into a single design. The US Long Range Cruise Missile calls for a 1,000 mile range, a stealthy frame, terminal guidance for precision targeting, and a conventional warhead. The British plan a similar missile as part of their Future Offensive Air System. Both are even considering the idea of making the weapon fit into the internal bay of a Joint Strike Fighter. The two missiles are at least a decade away, so there is plenty of time to review and harmonize requirements. The idea is good and deserves to work, but previous US-British attempts to jointly develop anew missile have failed. Most recently, the US and British failed to merge the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile with the British Conventionally Armed Stand Off Missile. The US wants about 1,000 missile while the British want about 400. The British Future Offensive Air System includes three separate systems. One is the cruise missile noted above, the second is a manned strike fighter (probably the JSF), and the third is an unmanned combat air vehicle to attack enemy air defenses. The cruise missile could be launched from the manned fighter or from a C-17 transport.--Stephen V

 


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