Army Awards Hypersonic Weapon System Contracts
(Source: US Army; issued August 30, 2019)
Hypersonic weapons are capable of flying at five times the speed of sound and operate at varying altitudes, making them unique from other missiles with a ballistic trajectory. (Photo by Sandia National Labs)
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. --- The U.S. Army awarded two contracts this week as it advances the fielding of a prototype hypersonic weapon by Fiscal Year 2023.
The Army Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) will introduce a new class of ultrafast, maneuverable, long-range missiles that will launch from mobile ground platforms.
"Delivering hypersonics to a unit of action will provide a critical combat capability for the Army in support of the National Defense Strategy," said LTG L. Neil Thurgood, Director of Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition. "With a collaborative effort by our partners in industry and the Department of Defense, we will advance this strategic weapon system and fulfill a critical mission for our nation."
Hypersonic weapons are capable of flying at five times the speed of sound and operate at varying altitudes, making them unique from other missiles with a ballistic trajectory.
In March 2019, the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Army directed the accelerated delivery of a prototype ground-launched hypersonic weapon with residual combat capability by Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. To execute this strategy, the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) has selected two prime contractors to build and integrate components of the LRHW prototype.
On August 29, the Army awarded an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreement to Dynetics in the amount of $351.6 million to produce the first commercially manufactured set of prototype Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) systems. Also on August 29, the Army awarded a second OTA agreement to Lockheed Martin in the amount of $347.0 million as the LRHW prototype system integrator.
The Army RCCTO is responsible for delivering the prototype LRHW battery, consisting of four trucks with launchers, hypersonic missile rounds, and a command and control system. The OTA awards support the design, integration and production work that enables a series of flight tests beginning next year, leading to fielding in FY23.
In developing the LRHW, the Army is working in close collaboration with the other services through a Joint Service Memorandum of Agreement on hypersonics design, development, testing and production. As part of the agreement, the Army will execute production of the C-HGB for all services, while the Navy will lead the glide body design beginning in FY20. This joint cooperation allows the services to leverage technologies, while tailoring them to meet specific air, land and sea requirements.
The two contract awards mark an important step in transitioning the development of Army hypersonic capabilities out of the government laboratories and into commercial production. Initially, Dynetics will work with Sandia National Laboratories to learn build of the glide body.
Additional future awards are expected in order to increase production of the C-HGB and to establish an industrial base for hypersonics within the United States. Vendors selected for these subsequent awards would also work with Sandia National Laboratories to learn production of the C-HGB.
"Hypersonics is not a new technology -- it's a new application of technology, with a new sense of urgency," said Bob Strider, Deputy Director of the Army Hypersonic Project Office, part of the RCCTO. "This prototyping effort will leverage the great work of the government science and technology community to take these systems to the next level and create an industrial base going forward."
The Army RCCTO, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is chartered to develop rapid prototypes and field residual combat capabilities.
Lockheed Martin's Expertise in Hypersonic Flight Wins New Army Work
(Source: Lockheed Martin; issued Aug. 30, 2019)
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. --- On August 29, the U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) a contract at an estimated value of $347 million as part of a multi-year hypersonic weapons development in support of the Army's focus in long-range precision strike missiles.
As the prime contractor for the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) systems integration project, the Lockheed Martin-team will develop and integrate a land-based hypersonic strike prototype in partnership with the Army Hypersonic Project Office, part of the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office. The team includes: Dynetics Technical Solutions (DTS), Integration Innovation Inc. (i3), Verity Integrated Systems, Martinez & Turek, and Penta Research.
"Lockheed Martin is driving rapid technical development for these national priority programs," said Eric Scherff, vice president for Hypersonic Strike Programs for Lockheed Martin Space. "There are natural synergies with our industry teammates. We believe our relationships offer the Army unmatched expertise and puts us in the best position to deliver this critical capability to the nation. Lockheed Martin is proud to partner with the Army in integrating the common hypersonic glide body and the land-based hypersonic strike weapon system prototype. We are committed to combining the best of what our companies have to offer to deliver on this national priority program."
The Army also awarded a contract to DTS at an estimated value of $352 million to produce the first commercially manufactured set of Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) systems. DTS selected Lockheed Martin to support integration and prototyping of this new C-HGB. The C-HGB will be available across military services to provide commonality to air, land and sea platform needs and requirements.
"Dynetics Technical Solutions is pleased to partner with Lockheed Martin on this national defense priority. The Common-Hypersonic Glide Body and Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon programs will modernize our national capabilities and will counter the threat from our foreign adversaries. We are looking forward to the progress our teams will make as we deliver this combat capability to the warfighter," said Steve Cook, DTS president.
The Army LRHW prototype will leverage the C-HGB and introduce a new class of ultrafast and maneuverable long-range missles with the ability to launch from ground mobile platforms. The LRHW system prototype will provide residual combat capability to soldiers by 2023.
Hypersonic strike weapons, capable of flying speeds in excess of Mach 5, are a key aspect of the long-range precision fire modernization effort for the Army and the national security strategy to compete with and outpace potential threats.
LRHW program work will be performed at Lockheed Martin's Alabama, Colorado, California and Texas facilities.
Lockheed Martin is an established industry leader in the development of hypersonic strike technology and our experience will serve as the cornerstone for hypersonic defense systems. Lockheed Martin's hypersonic strike awards exceed over $2.5 billion across the corporation. We are proud to partner with the Army, Air Force, and Navy on the technology development and demonstration for multiple capabilities that span all hypersonic flight disciplines.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 105,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.