Photos of the first ATK-built ZGQM-173A multi-stage supersonic target (MSST) have now appeared on the web. The US Navy is developing MSST to simulate the flight profile of Russia’s Novator 3M-54 Klub, which is also named the SS-N-27 Sizzler by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
If it’s pointed at you, the Klub is a hard missile to beat. It’s designed to skim over wave-tops subsonically, boost to near-hypersonic speeds in a brief climb, dive back to the surface and then weave its way toward the intended target — usually, the hull of a ship or submarine. All that zig-zagging with speed, altitude and direction makes the missile hard to track and even harder to stop.
When the MSST finally enters service in Fiscal 2014, the US Navy will finally be able to test defenses designed to overcome the threat.
ATK also has revealed that the MSST consists of a subsonic bus derived from the CEi BQM-167 target and a M3.5 rocket adapted from the ATK Mk-114 vertical launch anti-submarine rocket (VLA). A briefing in October by an ATK executive claims the first flight of the ZGQM-173A prototype was scheduled on 17 November, but it’s not clear whether that event took place.
(Photos courtesy of ATK.)
PHOTOs: Sizzler approximator unveiled
By Stephen Trimble on 10 January, 2011 in Uncategorised
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