ArcLight (Missile)

ArcLight (Missile)

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The ArcLight program is a missile development program of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of new technology for use by the military...

 with the goal of equipping ships like Aegis cruiser
Ticonderoga class cruiser
The Ticonderoga class of missile cruisers is a class of warships in the United States Navy, first ordered and authorized in FY 1978. The class uses phased-array radar and was originally planned as a class of destroyers...

s with a weapon system that is capable of striking targets nearly anywhere on the globe, thereby increasing the power of surface ships to a level comparable to that of ballistic missile-equipped submarines.

According to DARPA, the ArcLight program will develop a high-tech missile based on the booster stack of the current RIM-161 Standard Missile 3
RIM-161 Standard Missile 3
The RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 is a ship-based missile system used by the US Navy to intercept short-to intermediate-range ballistic missiles as a part of Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. Although primarily designed as an anti-ballistic missile, the SM-3 has also been employed in an...

 and equipped with a hypersonic glider capable of carrying a 100-200 lb warhead. The configuration will allow ships carrying the ArcLight missile to strike targets 2,300 miles away from the launch point. The missile would replace the aging BGM-109 Tomahawk
BGM-109 Tomahawk
The Tomahawk is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile. Introduced by General Dynamics in the 1970s, it was designed as a medium- to long-range, low-altitude missile that could be launched from a surface platform. It has been improved several times and, by way of corporate divestitures...

 and could be fired out of the standard vertical launchers available on many surface ships. Additionally, the ArcLight missile will be capable of launch from air and submarine assets capable of carrying the BGM-109.

Dr. Arthur Mabbett is the program manager of the DARPA project, which will develop and test two different missile designs.