U.S. Army’s Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon

The following is the Jan. 12, 2023, Congressional Research Service In Focus report, The U.S. Army’s Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon. From the report What Is the Army’s Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon? The Army’s Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW), with a reported range of 1,725 miles, consists of a ground-launched missile equipped with a hypersonic glide body and associated […]

The following is the Jan. 12, 2023, Congressional Research Service In Focus report, The U.S. Army’s Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon.

From the report

What Is the Army’s Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon?

The Army’s Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW), with a reported range of 1,725 miles, consists of a ground-launched missile equipped with a hypersonic glide body and associated transport, support, and fire control equipment. According to the Army:

This land-based, truck-launched system is armed with hypersonic missiles that can travel well over 3,800 miles per hour. They can reach the top of the Earth’s atmosphere and remain just beyond the range of air and missile defense systems until they are ready to strike, and by then it’s too late to react.

The Army further notes:

The LRHW system provides the Army a strategic attack weapon system to defeat Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) capabilities, suppress adversary long-range fires, and engage other high payoff/time critical targets. The Army is working closely with the Navy in the development of the LRHW. LRHW is comprised of the Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB), and the Navy 34.5 inch booster.

LRHW Components

Missile

The missile component of the LRHW is reportedly being developed by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. When the hypersonic glide body is attached, it is referred to as the Navy-Army All Up Round plus Canister (AUR+C). The missile component serves as the common two-stage booster for the Army’s LRHW and the Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) system, which is intended to be fired from both surface vessels and submarines.

Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB)

The C-HGB is reportedly based on the Alternate Re-Entry System developed by the Army and Sandia National Laboratories. Dynetics, a subsidiary of Leidos, is currently under contract to produce C-HGB prototypes for the Army and Navy. The C-HGB “uses a booster rocket motor to accelerate to well-above hypersonic speeds, and then jettisons the expended rocket booster.” The C-HGB is to be maneuverable, making it more difficult to detect and intercept and “can travel at Mach 5 or higher … at least five times faster than the speed of sound or up to 13,000 miles per hour.”

Download the documents here.