What is it?

QUICKSINK is a Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) that rapidly integrates and demonstrates Department of the Air Force technology creating air-delivered, low cost, surface vessels defeat capability for the warfighter.

Key to the demonstration is the Air Force Research Laboratory development of a Weapon Open Systems Architecture (WOSA) seeker for precision targeting of maritime surface vessels at low-cost.

How Does It Work?

This JCTD uses a Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) integrated with the new seeker to rapidly demonstrate the capability at minimal costs.

The WOSA seeker also allows the technology to be included on a variety of current and future weapons systems and enables them to engage static and moving maritime targets.

QUICKSINK is not a mine and is intended to have an immediate effect on stationary or moving maritime targets.


  • QUICKSINK demonstrates a new, low-cost, air-delivered capability for defeating surface vessels.
  • The rapid integration of the AFRL Weapon Open Systems Architecture (WOSA) seeker technology drives down costs by providing modularity and the ability to plug-and-play different manufacturers’ seeker components.
  • QUICKSINK is an answer to an urgent need to quickly neutralize massive maritime threats over massive areas around the world.
image of testing

Four GBU-31/B Joint Direct Attack Munition Bombs are seen loaded on F15-E Strike Eagle from 85th Test & Evaluation Squadron in this picture released along with its announcement about QUICKSINK test in Aug 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt Lindsey Heflin)

Why Is It Important?

Torpedoes, such as the heavyweight MK-48, are still the primary method used to sink enemy ships. New methods explored through QUICKSINK may be able to achieve the same kind of anti-ship lethality with air-launched weapons, including modified 2,000-pound class Joint Direct Attack Munition precision-guided bombs.

A Navy submarine has the ability to launch and destroy a ship with a single torpedo at any time, but QUICKSINK JCTD aims to develop a low-cost method of achieving torpedo-like seaworthy kills from the air at a much higher rate and over a much larger area. This new capability will provide combatant commanders options to neutralize surface maritime threats and demonstrates the inherent flexibility of the joint force.

QUICKSINK exploitation of WOSA drives down the cost of the most expensive part of the weapons system and provides the modularity and ability to plug-and-play different manufacturers’ seeker components to further reduce costs or enhance performance.

QUICKSINK is an answer to an urgent need to quickly neutralize massive maritime threats over massive areas around the world. QUICKSINK is unique in that it can provide new capabilities to existing and future DoD weapons systems, giving combatant commanders and our national leaders new ways to defend against maritime threats.

rendering of ship

A rendering of an Oliver Class Frigate that is typically used in Navy SINKEX. AFRL plans to participate in the next two sinking exercises, Atlantic Thunder 22 and Valiant Shield 22. (U.S. Air Force)

rendering of test target

AFRL’s current and evolving CAD model of the Coastal Sea developed from old drawings. Coastal Sea is the surrogate target for QUICKSINK Experiment 2 in the Gulf of Mexico designed to assess scientific and technology challenges associated with the QUICKSINK concept. (U.S. Air Force CAD rendering by Samuel Schemmer)

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