Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Lockheed Martin to provide U.S. Navy sea-based hypersonic strike capability

The U.S. Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract worth a potential US$2 billion to integrate the Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) hypersonic missile launchers on its ZUMWALT-class guided missile destroyers (DDGs).

The CPS is a hypersonic boost-glide weapon system that enables long-range missile flight at speeds greater than Mach 5, with high survivability against enemy defenses.

Under the new contract, Lockheed Martin will provide launcher systems, weapon control, All Up Rounds (AURs), which are the integrated missile components, and platform integration support for this naval platform. Along with its partners and subcontractors Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics Mission Systems, the Company is on track to provide the CPS surface-launched, sea-based hypersonic strike capability to sailors by the mid-2020s.

The contract also provides for additional AURs plus canisters for the U.S. Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) testing, training, and tactical employment.

The CPS shares a common AUR with the LRHW and can be launched from a variety of platforms, including surface ships, submarines, or land-based mobile launchers. As the lead manufacturer of these systems, which is true of both the USN’s CPS weapon systems and the U.S. Army’s LRHW weapon systems, Lockheed Martin leads a consortium of industrial partners to advance hypersonic weapons.

Hypersonic vehicles or missiles can travel faster than five times the speed of sound and are highly maneuverable. The combination of the CPS capability, and the stealth and mobility of the ZUMWALT-class destroyer, will provide the nation’s first sea-based hypersonic strike capability.

Feilding CPS on the ZUMWALT-class destroyer will be a necessary and important step towards equipping the warfighter with a capability that embodies Lockheed Martin‘s 21st Century Security vision. The U.S. has been slowly but steadily investing heavily in hypersonic weapons, and this contract is another major development.

“Lockheed Martin continues to advance hypersonic strike capability for the United States through this new contract,” said Steve Layne, vice president of Hypersonic Strike Weapon Systems at Lockheed Martin. “Early design work is already underway. Our team looks forward to supporting the warfighter by providing more options to further protect America at sea.”