The Pentagon wants a whole new kind of weapon system for the US Army. The planned weapon system will be extremely fast, deadly, virtually unstoppable and with a devastating result. To build such technology, the Pentagon has selected Lockheed Martin, a major player in the field of the hypersonic weapon system.

As mentioned earlier by The Investor, the Pentagon (US Defense Department) has awarded Lockheed Martin $347 million weapon contract to help the US Army build, develop and deploy its next big weapon system, a ground-based Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW).

In addition to Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon also picked a privately-held company Dynetics to help with the hypersonic weapon development. Dynetics has been awarded a separate weapon contract work $351.6 million to work on the development of the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) prototypes. Under the three-year-deal, the company will produce 20 glide body assemblies to be used by the US Army, US Navy, and the US Missile Defense Agency.

The Bethesda-based company will handle the integration and prototyping of the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB). Prototypes for C-HGB will be made available across US military services, the US Army, US Navy, and USAF. The two companies have been working to develop an "integrated Army hypersonic weapon system prototype, which is expected to deliver "residual combat capability" to the US Army by 2023.

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This means the new LRHW will be ready in combat if needed, according to the website The Investor.

The US Army plans to spend over $1.2 billion on its new LRHW program. In addition to Lockheed Martin and Dynetics, the Pentagon also picked Integration Innovation, Martinez & Turek, Penta Research and Verity Integrated Systems to help with the US Army’s hypersonic development program. The Army is expected to get a fully operational prototype by 2023.

Why the Pentagon and US Army selected Lockheed Martin

The US Defense Department has decided to select Lockheed Martin. The Bethesda, Maryland-based company has decades of experience when it comes to developing advanced weapon systems. It also has the most experience when it comes to developing advanced weapon system The tech giant has been working on a number of advanced weapon systems, including DARPA’s Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) and the USAF’s hypersonic efforts.

DARPA, which stands for Defense Advanced Research Program, is the US Defense Department’s secretive advanced research division and the nerve center for all the Pentagon’s weapon developments.

In addition to DARPA and US Army contracts, Lockheed Martin is also working with Raytheon, a US-based aerospace and defense contractor, for the new hypersonic development system. The two have been selected by the Pentagon to develop the Tactical Boost Glide (TBG) weapon system, a joint DARPA-USAF hypersonic effort that aims to develop the future air-launched, tactical-range hypersonic boost-glide system.

Lockheed’s other big projects

Right now, the USAF is still in the process of figuring out how to start and develop a prototype of the hypersonic weapon. The USAF is currently working on two major hypersonic weapon programs, the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon, and the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon.

In August 2018, Lockheed Martin received a $480 million weapon contract to develop a hypersonic prototype for the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) program, the USAF’s rapid prototyping programs that aimed to deliver a hypersonic weapon.

Also in the same year, Lockheed also won another contract to work on a separate hypersonic program under the US Air Force’s Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon Program. The Bethesda-based company beat three other defense contractors, Boeing, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman to win the billion-dollar weapon contract to develop a Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon. Prototypes for the Air Force’s Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon are expected to be ready by 2020.

According to the recent statement by the USAF, the ARRW program will use technologies developed by the USAF and DARPA, while the HCSW program will use mature technologies that can be integrated into an air-launched delivery system.

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