Five Times Speed of Sound – New Missile is Underway

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Another step toward the fielding of a US Navy and Army co-designed common hypersonic missile. The US Navy has conducted a second-stage solid rocket motor test for a hypersonic weapon in development.

The weapon will be capable of flying five times the speed of sound — Mach 5 — and can maneuver at a variety of altitudes, making it difficult to detect with terrestrial-based radars.

The test conducted in Utah and deemed a success by the Navy included firing the first-stage rocket motor. The event also put the thrust vector control system on the missile booster to the test. The Navy and Army will each take the missile’s glide body and tailor it for sea-launched and ground-launched use.

The Army plans to field its ground-launched Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon by the end of fiscal 2023, and the Navy wants its ship-launched capability fielded in 2023 followed by a submarine-launched missile in 2024. The Air Force wants to field an air-launched version in 2022.

While the Navy is leading the design effort for the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body, the Army is leading the production effort.

The Navy previously tested the first-stage motor in May, with its industry partners Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Moog, according to