Surface Forces: February 17, 2000


The US Navy is still looking for a target drone able to replicate a Russian SSN-22 anti-ship missile. This would mean a drone able to travel 45 miles at Mach 2. The first attempt to buy such a weapon failed when none of the bidders could produce a drone able to meet the requirement. To meet its near-term goals, the Navy has ordered another 34 Russian X-31 anti-ship missiles converted into target drones. The US buys the missiles from the Russian Navy. A Russian contractor (Zvezda-Strela) then takes the missiles and removes their warheads and some military components. Boeing then brings the missiles to its St Louis plant where they are converted into target drones.--Stephen V Cole


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