Technology with attitude

Navy Abandons $350M Satellite-Guided Weapons Program

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I’m glad to see they stopped this before they wasted any more money, but this just goes to show you how much money can be wasted on weapons systems that we honestly don’t even need. It makes the lack of focus on domestic issues that much harder to swallow.

From Reuters:

The Navy says it has spent about $350 million on the Extended-Range Guided Munition, a high-tech projectile designed to be fired from Navy destroyers up to 50 miles offshore, since it launched the program in 1996.

After years of problems, the time had come to move in a different direction, officials said. “We were not seeing the return on the investment that we had hoped to see,” said Navy spokeswoman Patricia Dolan.

She said a number of factors resulted in the decision, including the length of time spent on the program, recent test failures and the fact that Raytheon had used up all the funding earmarked for the program.

Officials decided to scrap further work on the program after the guidance system, the rocket motor, and tail fins all flunked demonstration tests at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico in February, according to a report in the Boston Globe.

Wired notes something interesting…

The irony off all this, of course, was that the ERGM was designed to be an interim solution until new destroyers were fielded with newer, long-range guns (and eventually, railguns). The ERGM cancellation, however, means the Navy now how an unmet requirement for naval surface fire support.

Then again, skeptics will point out: when was the last time Marines stormed a beach?

Well put.