Last week we showed you this photo I took of a mysterious missile that Boeing had on display at the Surface Navy Association's annual convention just outside of DC.
I had never seen, or heard of, this missile before and no one at Boeing's booth could talk about the weapon. Well, a spokeswoman with Boeing's Phantom Works division just emailed me to explain that the Joint Air-Breathing Multi-Role Missile (JABMM) is being designed for use by the Navy's Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). Remember, the sea service replaced the canceled Non-Line of Sight missile system as one of the LCS' primary weapons with Raytheon's tiny Griffin missile -- a munition that was originally designed as a smaller alternative to Hellfire antitank missiles for use by UAVs. Well, the JABMM is a purpose-built weapon designed to take out fast moving enemy ships, aircraft and possibly even incoming missiles, explains Phantom Works spokeswoman Deborah VanNierop in the following email:
The JABMM or Joint Air Breathing Multi-Role Missile is a surface engagement weapon enlisting air breathing propulsion capabilities for greater range than some current solid rocket propelled missiles. It could be used as an air interceptor or surface engagement weapon against fast moving vessels.
The JABMM is designed to fit into deck mounted canisters aboard U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) for ease of ship integration.
The JABMM would be launched out of its canister by a solid rocket booster and then at take over speed the turbo-jet air breathing engine would take over.
The JABMM is currently a conceptual design.