US Army awards contract to Lockheed Martin for hypersonic weapon system

US Army awards contract to Lockheed Martin for hypersonic weapon system

The U.S. Army has awarded Lockheed Martin a $756 million contract to deliver additional capability for the Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) system, a ground-based hypersonic weapon that represents a new class of ultrafast and maneuverable long-range missiles.

Under this contract, Lockheed Martin will provide additional LRHW battery equipment, systems and software engineering support, and logistics solutions. The LRHW system is designed to launch the common hypersonic All Up Round (AUR), managed by the U.S. Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) program. The system includes an Army canister, a battery operations center, and transporter erector launchers.

“Lockheed Martin is proud to continue our strong partnership with the U.S. government for hypersonic strike capability,” said Steve Layne, vice president of Hypersonic Strike Weapon Systems at Lockheed Martin. “With this contract, we will support the U.S. Army to sustain the Long Range Hypersonic Weapon System currently in the hands of U.S. soldiers, produce additional batteries for future fielding, and support flight testing.”

Lockheed Martin delivered equipment for the first LRHW battery, known as Dark Eagle, to U.S. soldiers in 2021. The company continues to work closely with the Army to address critical national security needs.

The Dark Eagle missile comprises a rocket booster and an unpowered hypersonic boost-glide vehicle payload. The rocket booster propels the vehicle to optimal speed and altitude, after which it travels independently at hypersonic speeds, defined as anything above Mach 5.

These hypersonic vehicles are designed for high maneuverability, enabling them to change course unpredictably. This creates challenges for defenders, making it difficult to detect, intercept, or react to the incoming threat. The ability to quickly and effectively target adversaries at long ranges without warning underscores the strategic importance of the LRHW system.

As part of this contract, Lockheed Martin will continue to develop and deliver the necessary support to ensure the LRHW system meets the evolving demands of modern warfare. This includes producing additional batteries for future deployment and supporting ongoing flight tests to validate the system’s capabilities.

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