Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army celebrated the delivery of critical ground equipment for its Long Range Hypersonic Weapon system — part of a rapid, multi-year hypersonic weapons development program supporting the service’s focus on long-range precision fires.
“With this delivery, we’ve taken another leap in advancing this capability to support the U.S. Army’s long-range precision fires vision in support of joint all domain operations,” said Eric Scherff, vice president for Hypersonic Strike Programs at Lockheed Martin Space. “We’re achieving great efficiencies by supporting this program and the U.S. Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike hypersonic program through the use of a common missile. We’ve invested heavily in creating digital factories across the corporation that employ advanced materials and precision capabilities needed for hypersonic strike, and bringing this digital factory approach to hypersonics means shorter delivery spans and greater affordability.”
In a ceremony held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Oct. 7, the U.S. Army and industry team celebrated this delivery of ground equipment, including the battery operations center and four transporter erector launchers. The overall system is being developed in partnership with the U.S. Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office and its Hypersonic Project Office. Led by Lockheed Martin, other industry teammates include Dynetics, General Atomics, General Dynamics, i3, Moog, Northrop Grumman, Penta Research, Raytheon, and Verity Integrated Systems.
“Today marks an important milestone in equipping our nation’s first hypersonic battery,” said Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood, Director of Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space, and Rapid Acquisition, who also oversees the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office. “From a blank piece of paper in March 2019, we — along with our industry partners and joint services — delivered this hardware in just over two years. Now, Soldiers can begin training.”
The Lockheed Martin LRHW contract was originally awarded in 2019. Future flight tests are slated for fiscal year 2022-2023, and the program remains on track.
Earlier this week, Lockheed Martin opened an intelligent, advanced hypersonic production facility at its Courtland, Ala., location. Designed and constructed with the latest digital tools, factory work there will focus on producing much of the company’s hypersonics portfolio, including LRHW.
Hypersonic weapons are a key aspect of the long-range precision fire modernization effort for the Army and the national security strategy to compete with and outpace potential adversaries. Lockheed Martin is an established industry leader in the development of hypersonic strike technology and our experience also serves as the cornerstone for hypersonic defense systems.
Delivery of the hardware began in March 2021 and finished at the end of September 2021. The delivery includes a battery operations center, four transporter erector launchers, and modified trucks and trailers that make up the LRHW ground equipment.
The fielding to the 5-3 FA will be complete in fiscal year 2023. Delivering the ground hardware first will allow the Soldiers to train on the equipment, create doctrine for this first-ever system, and develop tactics, techniques, and procedures.
In executing hypersonics development and testing, the Army is closely linked with its joint service partners.
In March 2020, the Army began a series of joint tests, focusing on range, environmental extremes, and contested environments. The tests will be complemented by training events as the Soldiers learn to employ the new technology.
Throughout the prototyping effort, Soldier-centered design touch-points were embedded and were influential in developing the system. Soldiers are at the center of this effort and are a critical part of the design effort.