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The U.S. Navy Announces Plans For Munition Acquisitions

The U.S. Navy Announces Plans For Munition Acquisitions

In the announced plan for FY24, USN and USMC are set to acquire some of the new weapon systems, such as the CPS hypersonic missile and JASSM-ER cruise missile. When the budget plan spanning FY24 and FY29 is inspected, both USN and USMC will acquire Tactical Tomahawk (TACTOM) cruise missiles. While the USN already has the means of launching the missiles with Mk41 VLS-equipped ships, the USMC will launch the missiles by other means. The service will acquire land-based Mk41 VLS based on trailer trucks to launch Tomahawk and SM-6 missiles. 

The newest long-range anti-air option for the USN, SM-6, will be acquired at an increasing rate over the next six years. With the count being 125 in FY24, increasing it to 300 by FY28 is proposed. A total of 1080 missiles will be acquired. SM-6 differs from SM-2 missiles in that its data-link capabilities and active RF seeker are derived from that of the AIM-120C7 AMRAAM air-to-air missile. The CPS hypersonic weapon system will be installed on Zumwalt-class destroyers in place of 155 mm AGS naval guns, which will be purchased in FY24, too. Eight of these missiles will be purchased in FY24, which is projected to peak at 22 in FY27. The total planned amount is 61.

AGM-158C LRASM air-launched cruise missile is another crucial point in the announced plan. The baseline LRASM with a range between 321-482 km will be replaced within this period with the extended range LRASM-ER. The Drive reports that LRASM-ER features new software and a maximum range of 964 km.

Another important addition for aircraft is the new AGM-179 JAGM missile set to succeed AGM-65 Maverick and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. Initially based on the AGM-114 propulsion section with a dual-mode IIR + mmWR seeker, the missile eventually evolved into the JAGM-MR variant with a tri-mode seeker and extended range of 16 km. 264 missiles are planned for FY24 with a total of 1686 missiles by FY29.

On the air-to-air missiles side, the AIM-9X Sidewinder will be acquired at a steady rate between 147 and 208 units per year, but the acquisition of the AIM-120 AMRAAM is planned to end by FY28. After acquiring 374 missiles in FY24, the acquisition will drop rapidly. This is likely a preparation for the new AIM-260 JATM missile.