The United States is engaged in a critical race to develop hypersonic weapons; the country’s main competitors, China and Russia, have surged ahead in their development and deployment of advanced hypersonics, leaving the U.S. hastening to catch up.
The Navy and the Army are developing two hypersonic weapons, the intermediate-range Conventional Prompt Strike and the Long Range Hypersonic Weapon, the latter of which is set to be operational as soon as 2023.
Though the Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike capability has experienced some testing setbacks, the service has plans, as outlined in its fiscal year 2023 budget request, to develop a Hypersonic Air-Launched Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare Missile, known as HALO.
Much of the United States’ focus in regards to hypersonic weapons development has been on defensive capabilities in recent years, but now, defense leaders are shifting their priorities back toward interceptors.
The Missile Defense Agency paused its interceptor efforts in 2020 to focus on delivering a defensive hypersonic weapon. Now, MDA has resumed these efforts with a reinvigorated emphasis on taking out adversarial hypersonic weapons.
Raytheon and Northrop Grumman were recently selected to continue their work on the next phase of the MDA’s Glide Phase Interceptor program. The GPI program will be able to intercept hypersonic weapons during its glide phase of flight, providing an additional layer of protection against hypersonic missile threats for the U.S. and its allies.
These interceptors are being designed to integrate into the Navy’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense destroyers.
Learn more about the United States’ hypersonic weapons plans, priorities and progress during the ExecutiveBiz Events Hypersonics Forum on July 12.
Michael White, principal director of hypersonics for the Defense Department’s OUSD R&E, is confirmed to keynote. Register here.