Klubs No-Trump: the USA’s MSST Supersonic Target

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MSST concept(click to view full) In order to defend against a threat, you have to be able to simulate it for realistic training and evaluation. Navy ships are increasingly threatened by supersonic anti-ship missiles, which can leave defenders as little as 45 seconds from the moment they break the horizon to impact with the ship. The USA’s GQM-163 Coyote target was developed to simulate those, but the Russians also sell an interesting hybrid threat. The 3M54E “SS-N-27 Sizzler” variant of the Klub missile uses the usual sub-sonic, sea-skimming approach in order to extend its range, until it gets within 60 km/ 36 miles of its target. Then it boosts to supersonic speed, and performs evasive maneuvers to confuse defenses. It’s a deadly threat. Which is why the USA has been funding the Multi-Stage Supersonic Target Program since 2008, in order to develop a target that can bring the same kind of sizzle to defensive exercises. Contracts & Key Events US Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD manages the MSST program, and in 2008 they picked Alliant Tech Systems (ATK) in Woodland Hills, CA. May 1/12: An $8.8 million cost-plus-incentive-fee contract modification for services and supplies in support of […]

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