The US Army has awarded Dynetics Technical Solutions, a Leidos company, a contract worth $428.2 million to create Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) prototypes.
The contract from July 24 is a modification of an initial $351.6M deal from 2019 under which the company was to produce 20 glide body assemblies for use by the US Army, US Navy and the Missile Defense Agency, with an option for additional quantities.
Working with Sandia National Laboratories for development and production of the glide body, Dynetics delivered the first system to the services in April 2022. This allowed the services to conclude the first flight test of the integrated C-HGB and missile booster stack in June 2022. That test demonstrated successful first and second stage missile booster flight. A test scheduled for March this year was postponed due to a battery failure during a pre-launch check.
C-HGB is joint program between the US Navy and US Army, and is poised to allow the Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike and the Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon to use the same all-up round.
The Navy-developed common hypersonic missile will be delivered to the Army as the LRHW prototype capability beginning in fiscal year 2023. The capability will then be fielded by the Navy as a sea-based capability onboard Zumwalt-class destroyers (DDGs) starting in the mid-2020’s and on Block V Virginia-class submarines (SSNs) starting in the early 2030’s.
Lockheed Martin has already been awarded a $1.1 billion contract for work on integrating the hypersonic strike capability onto the Zumwalt-class destroyers.
The CPS and LRHW programs plan to jointly conduct multiple hypersonic flight tests of the common hypersonic missile, focusing on range, environmental extremes, use of multiple launch platforms, and operational considerations. These flight tests are designed to capture performance data and continue to mature the design and development of the common hypersonic missile.
The Navy is also continuing developmental testing in preparation for the first flight test to utilize its cold-gas eject launch. In a House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee hearing from March this year, Vice Adm. Johnny Wolfe said the navy would “soon” be deploying a weapon system prototype and missile simulator for the Zumwalt destroyers as an early validation event for the CPS weapon system. This technical demonstration event will provide early warfighter engagement, validation of weapon system interfaces, and allow the program to demonstrate a digital kill chain.
Dynetics will be delivering the glide body systems from its Huntsville, Alabama, facility and is expected to conclude work by July 2027.