A B-52 Stratofortress prepares for an operational demonstration of the Quickstrike-ER (QS-ER) Naval mine project.
A B-52 Stratofortress prepares for an operational demonstration of the Quickstrike-ER (QS-ER) Naval mine project.

Boeing Awarded $58 Million US Navy Contract for Quickstrike Extended Range (QS-ER)

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is awarded a $58,300,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee, undefinitized contract action for the design and production of the Quickstrike Extended Range (QS-ER) non-functional glide kits, glide kit prototype articles, and glide kit shipping containers. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri, and is expected to be completed by March, 2024. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $20,239,280 will be obligated at time of award, of which $20,239,280 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Quickstrike 64-ER (QS-ER) is an air-laid mine equipped with a 2000 lb MK64 Quickstrike naval mine. The Quickstrike is a Mark 80-series general purpose bomb with the fuze replaced with a target detection device (TDD) to detonate it when a ship passes within lethal range, a safe/arm device in the nose, and a parachute-retarder tailkit in the back. The Naval mine project is part of a two-year joint effort to develop, test and operationally demonstrate the capabilities of the QS64-ER that combines Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) technology and an additional wing kit and battery section with existing mine components.

The U.S. Air Force performed the first-ever drop of a precision guided aerial mine, consisting of a Quickstrike mine equipped with a JDAM kit on 23 September 2014. The Quickstrike-J precision maritime mine is a JDAM-equipped 1,000 lb or 2,000 lb version, while the GBU-62B(V-1)/B Quickstrike-ER standoff, precision maritime mine is a 500 lb or 2,000 lb gliding version based on the JDAM-ER, which has a range of 40 nmi (46 mi; 74 km) when launched from 35,000 ft (11,000 m). This aerial maritime mine is compatible, interoperable, and can be employed by virtually any JDAM enabled aircraft, including foreign partners. Current mine technology, while effective, has been largely unchanged since World War II.

A B-52 Stratofortress, assigned to the 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., conducts an operational demonstration of the Quickstrike-ER (QS-ER) Naval mine project in the Pacific Ocean, May 30, 2019. The QS-ER project was initiated by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command as part of ongoing efforts to modernize and enhance military readiness throughout the joint forces in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Holly L. Herline)