Jaw-dropping moment cargo tanker is split in two in 40 seconds by US ‘Quicksink’ missile in show of force to China | The Sun

ASTONISHING footage captures the moment a cargo ship is sunk in less than a minute by a powerful bomb dropped from a US fighter jet.

The footage taken from onboard the ship shows the explosion rip through the vessel, sending it below the waves in just 40 seconds.

In the clip, the boat, a derelict cargo ship destined for the scrapyard, is filmed floating in the Gulf of Mexico.

Moments later, the vessel is torn apart by a 2,000-pound bomb designed specially to sink ships.

The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) is dubbed the Quicksink because of the speed at which it scuttles ships.

It was dropped by a low-flying F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet which detonated the GPS-navigated bomb underneath the vessel.


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The JDAM is a relatively cheap way to convert unguided bombs into precision-guided weapons which can be used in any weather.

As the bomb detonates, the cargo ship – the Courageous – is lifted out of the water and split in half by the force of the blast.

The missile test was carried out in April last year, but never-before-seen footage from onboard the Courageous shows the impact of the explosion at close quarters.

Each JDAM bomb of the type seen in the video costs around $30,000 (£25k).

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They have a major advantage over traditional torpedoes, which give away the location of the submarine and open them up to a counterattack.

Aircraft in comparison to subs are far cheaper.

Each F-15E Stike Eagle fighter jet costs around $87.7 million (£73.2m), while a US submarine can cost up to $2.8 billion (£2.3bn).

According to the Air Force Research Lab which developed the weapon, the Quicksink "aims to develop a low-cost method of achieving torpedo-like seaworthy kills from the air at a much higher pace and over a much larger area than covered by a lumbering submarine."

Speaking at the time, Colonel Tony Meeks, director of the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL's) Munitions Directorate, said: "Quicksink is an answer to an urgent need to neutralise maritime threats to freedom around the world.

"The men and women of this directorate consistently find ways to solve our nation's greatest challenges."

It comes amid increased tensions between the US and China.

Last month, ex-US Air Force commander Mike Minihan claimed that the two countries could go to war as soon as 2025.

Minihan, Chief of the US Air Force's Air Mobility Command, said in the leaked memo: "My gut tells me we will fight in 2025."

Tensions have flared between Washington and Beijing over the issue of Taiwan, which China believes is a breakaway province and not a sovereign nation.

This week, the South China Morning Post reports that People's Liberation Army (PLA) jets entered its air defence ID zone.

Since Monday, 68 aircraft and 10 warships have been sent by China close to Taiwan.

It follows the US Navy's announcement that it would send its own reconnaissance planes through the Taiwan Strait.

This sparked a furious response from China, with the PLA Eastern Theatre Command saying on Monday that the US "had deliberately interrupted and undermined peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait".

But the US says that it considers the Taiwan Strait as international waters, and will continue operations in the area.

In a statement, the US Seventh Fleet said: "The United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate anywhere international law allows, including within the Taiwan Strait," adding that its plane was operating in "international airspace".

Recently, there was a separate scandal over reports of Chinese spy balloons being shot down over the US.

Eerie pictures showed the gigantic Chinese spy balloon the size of three buses which was spotted lurking over the US.

Pentagon officials admitted they had been tracking the enormous craft for days but had opted not to shoot it down.

But the shooting down sparked fury in Beijing and among some in the US.

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The US plans to study wreckage from shot-down surveillance balloons for further research.

It later emerged that Chinese balloons have likely been used to spy on the UK, with Defence Minister Ben Wallace making the stunning admission.

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