Home Americas US Navy tests hypersonic weapon’s second stage rocket motor

US Navy tests hypersonic weapon’s second stage rocket motor

US Army Navy hypersonic weapon solid rocket motor
Second Stage Solid Rocket Motor (SRM) test on August 25th in Promontory, Utah. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy’s Strategic Systems Program (SSP) completed a successful test of the second stage solid rocket motor (SRM) for the Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) offensive hypersonic strike capability and the Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW).

The test on August 25 in Promontory, Utah, was the initial live fire test of the second stage SRM and follows a successful test of the first stage SRM on May 27, 2021.

This test marked the successful testing of both stages of the newly developed missile booster, as well as a thrust vector control system on the SRM.

These tests are a vital step in the development of a Navy-designed common hypersonic missile that will be fielded by both the Navy and Army.

The second stage SRM will be part of a new missile booster for the services, and will be combined with a Common Hypersonic Glide Body (CHGB) to create the common hypersonic missile.

Each service will use the common hypersonic missile, while developing individual weapon systems and launchers tailored for launch from sea or land.

According to the navy, this successful SRM test represents a critical milestone leading up to the next series of Navy and Army joint flight tests and will lead to the fielding of the CPS and LRHW weapon systems.

The Pentagon successfully tested the CHGB on March 20, 2020. The services are working closely with government national laboratories and industry to continue development and production of the CHGB. The Navy is the lead designer of the CHGB, and the Army leads production of the CHGB.

Information gathered from this and future tests will further inform the services offensive hypersonic technology development. The hypersonic warfighting capability is expected to be fielded in the early-to mid-2020s.

Hypersonic weapons, capable of flying at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5), are highly maneuverable and operate at varying altitudes. In a matter of minutes, Navy and Army warfighters will be able to defeat high-value targets hundreds or even thousands of miles away.