The US Navy has just announced the upcoming launch of a major Prowling Munitions program with a budget of $1 billion, without giving further details about it, particularly with regard to the type of drone selected. and the use that will be made of it.
If the second Nagorno-Karabakh war, which opposed the Armenian and Azerbaijani armies in 2020, showed the full operational effectiveness of Israeli-made Harop and Harpy lurking munitions to eliminate opposing defenses, the war in Ukraine today, shows its versatility , while both camps use this type of ammunition both for tactical purposes and to strike targets in strategic depth .
It is therefore not surprising that industrial and/or national programs to develop this type of ammunition have multiplied in Europe and all over the world in recent months, as was the case in France with the programs Colibri and Larinae , aimed at hitting targets respectively 5 and 50 km away, which were announced by the DGA last March.
The potential of Lurking Munitions has not escaped the US Navy either. Already, two years ago, the American Office of Naval Research (ONR) had placed an order for Coyote Block 3 (CB3) light prowling munitions from Raytheon to test their effectiveness in the context of a naval deployment, but also to test the notion of swarm strikes against naval or land targets.
The 2021 contract then reached $33 million, unrelated to a new lurking munitions program which has just been announced by the US Navy, which involves a pharaonic amount of $1 billion, the largest contract for a vagrant ammunition known to date. Implemented by the Naval Sea Systems Command, this contract has appeared in the public arena since last November. However, it remains very mysterious, especially since despite its amount, it will not give rise to industrial competition.
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