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US bulking up missile stocks for a Taiwan war

The US aims to massively upscale missile production for a possible Taiwan Strait conflict against China, a weaponry build-up that could quickly stall due to institutional obstacles, industrial challenges and a potential shortage of critical materials.

This month, The War Zone reported that the US Air Force (USAF) is advancing with its Enterprise Test Vehicle (ETV) project, which aims to develop low-cost, high-production cruise missiles for potential high-end conflicts including against China in the Pacific.

The War Zone mentions that four companies – Anduril Industries, Integrated Solutions for Systems, Inc, Leidos subsidiary Dynetics and Zone 5 Technologies – have been selected to design, build and flight test new missile concepts within seven months.

The report says that the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), in cooperation with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Armament Directorate (AFLCMC/EB), announced the collaboration, which also involves US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), and US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM).

The War Zone notes that the ETV project aims to prototype commercial and dual-use technology solutions that demonstrate modularity for subsystem upgrades and serve as a foundation for affordable high-rate production.

The missiles are expected to be capable of mass deployment through multiple launch methods, creating a strategic challenge for adversaries.

The project intends to use commercial off-the-shelf components and modern manufacturing approaches to create economic munition stockpiles for prolonged conflicts. If successful, the project could significantly enhance the USAF’s strategic capabilities while reducing costs.

The War Zone report