U.S. Army will test-fire multiple land-based hypersonic missiles later this year
According to news released to the official website of the U.S. Army on March 5, 2020, the U.S. Army will test-fire multiple land-based hypersonic missiles later this year. Hypersonic weapons are capable of flying at five times the speed of sound and operate at varying altitudes, making them unique from other missiles with a ballistic trajectory.
U.S. Army has unveiled a scale model of what it is calling a Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) in February 2020. (Picture source U.S. DoD Sgt. James Harvey)
U.S. Army leaders requested $1.7 billion in FY21 to further develop long-range precision fires, with $800 million set aside for hypersonics. The latest request would help activate a hypersonic missile battery by 2023, Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy said.
The U.S. Army has started the development of its own land-based hypersonic missiles under the Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) program and could deliver the first prototype of hypersonic weapon system by Fiscal Year 2023.
The U.S. Army plans to be equipped with a land-based, truck-launched system is armed with hypersonic missiles that can travel well over 3,800 miles (6,150 km) 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. Extremely accurate, ultrafast, maneuverable and survivable, hypersonics can strike anywhere in the world within minutes. For the battery, the task force and the U.S. Army, they provide a critical strategic weapon and a powerful deterrent against adversary capabilities.
To address those threats, the U.S. Army is accelerating the fielding of its own long-range hypersonic weapon to deliver, by the fiscal year 2023, an experimental prototype with residual combat capability-meaning Soldiers have it and can use it in combat if needed-to a unit of action. In this case, the unit is a battery in a strategic fires battalion.
In February 2020, the U.S. Army has displayed a scale model of what it is calling a Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW). It was unveiled during the House Army Caucus Breakfast at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C., Feb 27, 2020.