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Boeing’s Mystery Missile

by John Reed on January 13, 2012

Could this be the secret new strike weapons Boeing executives told a bunch of us reporters the company was working on during the Farnborough air show in 2010?

I spotted the mystery weapon in Boeing’s booth at the Surface Navy Association’s annual conference here in Washington. I’d never seen the design or the name before so I promptly asked about it; no one staffing the booth claimed to know any more than I did about the weapon (they did, however, give me a refresher on their railgun tech).

Here’s what Bill Sweetman wrote at Av Week after a Boeing official’s admission that it had a secret new strike weapon (I’ve got to admit, I was in the room, but chose to write about the new stealthy Super Hornet that Boeing unveiled at the same press conference.):

Boeing is in production on at least one “proprietary” strike weapon system, claims Shelley Lavender, vice president and general manager of global strike systems. But Lavender refused July 20 at the Farnborough International Airshow to provide more information when pressed.

“I have nothing further for you on that,” the executive said.

Could it be a Tomahawk cruise missile/AGM-86 replacement; a part of the so called, “family” of next-gen strike systems being designed for use by the Navy and the Air Force?

Maybe it will be a stealthy, stand-off cruise missile meant to fit inside the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s internal weapons bay. Remember, the stealthy AGM-158B Joint Air to Surface Stand-off Munition is too large to be carried inside the F-35, meaning that it would compromise the jet’s stealth if carried aboard the wings. Norway is already working on a stand-off missile that would fit inside the F-35’s weapons bay. Competition?

Maybe it has to do with this penetrating weapon that’s intended to be a mini–MOP carried by the F-35.

It could also be some new, new name for the Joint Dual Role Air Dominance Munition, though the air-breathing weapon above doesn’t look much like an air-to-air missile.

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