Armor: October 21, 2003


The U.S. Army has not given up on using very high speed (5,000 feet per second, twice the speed of a rifle bullet) missiles to take out tanks. The Compact Kinetic Energy Missile (CKEM), which will weigh about 90 pounds and be five feet long, is under development. CKEM is this about half the size and weight of the older, and now cancelled, Line-Of-Sight Anti-Tank (LOSAT) missile. CKEM will use the same guidance system and other LOSAT technology. The only problem is that the smaller warhead may have trouble doing what LOSAT promised to do; waste any tank in the world. A new design for the warhead (which in LOSAT was just plain old rod of hard metal--as is used in tank gun shells) might do it. Time will tell, and tests for CKEM are at least a year away.


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