Sunday, October 17, 2021

Lockheed Martin delivers first prototype hypersonic hardware

Pentagon’s No.1 weapons supplier Lockheed Martin Corp. delivered critical ground equipment for the U.S. Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) system to Soldiers of the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 17th Field Artillery Brigade at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. 

“With this delivery, we’ve taken another leap in advancing this capability to support the U.S. Army’s long-range precision fires vision in support of joint all domain operations,” said Eric Scherff, vice president for Hypersonic Strike Programs at Lockheed Martin Space. “We’re achieving great efficiencies by supporting this program and the U.S. Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike hypersonic program through the use of a common missile. We’ve invested heavily in creating digital factories across the corporation that employ advanced materials and precision capabilities needed for hypersonic strike, and bringing this digital factory approach to hypersonics means shorter delivery spans and greater affordability.”

In a ceremony held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord today, the U.S. Army and industry team celebrated this delivery of ground equipment, including the battery operations center and four transporter erector launchers. The overall system is being developed in partnership with the U.S. Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office and its Hypersonic Project Office. Led by Lockheed Martin, other industry teammates include Dynetics, General Atomics, General Dynamics, i3, Moog, Northrop Grumman, Penta Research, Raytheon and Verity Integrated Systems.

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The Lockheed Martin LRHW contract was originally awarded in 2019. Future flight tests are slated for fiscal year 2022-2023, and the program remains on track.

The Army is prototyping the land-based, ground launched Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) that will provide residual combat capability to Soldiers by Fiscal Year 2023.

Photo by Kyle Larsen

This prototype, being built under the direction of Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO), fields components of the LRHW to enable Soldiers to fully train with the system and build tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs). Hypersonic weapons, capable of flying at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5+), are a new capability that provide a unique combination of speed, maneuverability and altitude to defeat time-critical, heavily-defended and high value targets.

Hypersonic weapons, capable of flying at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5+), are a new capability that provide a unique combination of speed, maneuverability and altitude to defeat time-critical, heavily-defended and high value targets. Hypersonics is part of the Army’s number one modernization priority of Long Range Precision Fires, and is one of the highest priority modernization areas the Department of Defense is pursuing to ensure continued battlefield dominance.

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Executive Editor

About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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