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Wednesday, Dec 08, 2021
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US Navy successfully conducts test of hypersonic rocket motor

The US Navy Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) "successfully conducted a second test of the First Stage Solid Rocket Motor (SRM)," the Navy announced Friday.
"The Navy Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) successfully conducted a second test of the First Stage Solid Rocket Motor (SRM)" on Thursday in Utah "as part of the development of the Navy's Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) offensive hypersonic strike capability and the Army's Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW)," the Navy said in a statement.

It added, "The offensive weapon systems will enable precise and timely strike capability against deep inland targets in contested environments."

"Today's successful test brings us one step closer to the design validation of our new hypersonic missile that will be fielded by both the Navy and the Army," Director, Navy's Strategic Systems Programs Johnny Wolfe Jr., said.

He affirmed, "We are on schedule for the upcoming flight test of the full common hypersonic missile. This SRM test is part of a series of tests validating the newly developed common hypersonic missile."

This live fire test follows previous tests of the First and Second Stages in May and August. This static fire test marked "the first time the First Stage SRM included a thrust vector control system." The thrust vector control system is "a key component of the missile booster that allows the rocket motors to be maneuverable in flight."

The statement noted that the Navy and Army "are on track to test the full common hypersonic missile that will be a catalyst for fielding the CPS and LRHW weapon systems."

Both missiles will carry the Common Hypersonic Glide Body (CHGB) warhead vehicle inside that is also a development collaboration between both services.

Both the US Army’s Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) and the US Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) Hypersonic missiles have the same diameter of 34.5” (2.87 feet or 0.87 meters). Two Hypersonic missiles will fit on a US Army M870A3 trailer for transport and firing, and hypothetically in the future, Army LRHWs might be deployed aboard US Navy ships.

US peer competitors are weaponizing and fielding hypersonic capabilities, creating warfighting asymmetry that must be addressed. These tests are vital in developing a Navy-designed common hypersonic missile that the Navy and Army will field. The common hypersonic missile will consist of the first stage SRM as part of a new missile booster combined with the Common Hypersonic Glide Body (CHGB).

The Navy and Army are on track to test the full common hypersonic missile that will be a catalyst for fielding the CPS and LRHW weapon systems. The services are working closely with government national laboratories and industry to continue developing and producing the common missile.

“This test continues to build momentum to deliver hypersonics capability for our warfighters in support of the National Defense Strategy,” said LTG L. Neil Thurgood, director of Hypersonics, directed energy, space and rapid acquisition.

“Fielding hypersonic weapons is one of the highest priority modernization areas the Department of Defense is pursuing to ensure our continued battlefield dominance, and the joint team did a tremendous job executing this test and keeping us on schedule.

”Information gathered from ongoing tests will further inform the services offensive hypersonic technology development. Hypersonic weapons are capable of flying at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5), are highly maneuverable and operate at varying altitudes.

“The common hypersonic missile design for sea and land-based applications provides economies of scale for future production and relies upon a growing US hypersonics industrial base.”
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