Hypersonic missile deployment slated for 2023

WASHINGTON. Deployment of a long-range hypersonic weapon system by the U.S. Army is expected by 2023, the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) was told at its annual convention. Robert Strider, deputy director of Army hypersonic programs told attendees of the convention that an experimental prototype, "with residual combat capability," will be fielded by 2023, as announced by the Army last month.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force.

Strider added that a battery of eight missiles launched from a mobile ground platform are intended to be capable of breaking speeds of Mach 5 — about 3,800 mph on land — and that the hypersonic weapons system leads the Army's list of priorities.

Hypersonic missiles are intended to reach the top of the Earth's atmosphere, remaining beyond the range of air and missile defense systems, until they are ready to strike. Design of the missiles and the launching platforms is overseen by the Army's Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office.

The missile's construction includes a Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB), modified trucks and trailers, and existing command-and-control technology. Dynetics Technical Solutions of Huntsville, Ala., has been contracted to manufacture C-HGB prototypes.