Vice Adm. Thomas Moore: Navy Intends to Upgrade Launchers on Destroyers for Hypersonic Weapons

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Vice Adm. Thomas Moore

Vice Adm. Thomas Moore, head of Naval Sea Systems Command, said the U.S. Navy plans to upgrade launchers on its Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers to accommodate hypersonic missiles, Defense News reported Sunday.

“Vertical launch system has been a real game-changer for us. We can shoot any number of things out of those launchers,” Moore said at a conference of naval engineers. “We’ll probably change those out and upgrade them for prompt strike weapons down the road.”

The report said equipping surface ships with hypersonic weapons would boost the service’s strike capabilities needed to counter Chinese and Russian air defenses. The military branch is also considering an upgrade to its air and missile defense radar system – AN/SPY-6 – aboard its DDG destroyer ships.

“We are looking at a scaled-back version of the Air and Missile Defense Radar to back-fit the Flight Is and Flight IIs, similar to how we are looking for a version of the [Enterprise Air Search Radar] developed for [the Ford-class aircraft carriers] to back-fit on some of the old Nimitz-class,” Moore said.

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