The US Navy is developing the hypersonic glide body that all the services will use, as well as a booster to launch the Navy’s weapon off a yet-to-be-determined platform.
The conventional prompt global strike program has the goal of being able to hit anywhere on earth within one hour.
They are developing the cone hypersonic glide body.
The Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) was given funding at the start of this fiscal year to develop and field a small number of “76-2” low-yield weapons.
The old W76 nuclear warhead and Trident D5 missile will likely still be the basis of the new hypersonic weapon.
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1 thought on “US Navy Will Develop Hypersonic Submarine Launched Weapons”
So an RFP will be going out shortly for a 3 or 4 stage hypersonic boost vehicle to drive their glide vehicle warhead out of an Ohio class Trident tube. I don’t exactly know what he meant by “we won’t have to do any new testing”, I think he meant the environments will already be known because the C4 and D5 were extensively tested for sub launch and storage. That’s true but that just means you save time on analysis. You still have to test your new booster, that seems obvious to me. I wonder if I’m missing his point somehow. Maybe he meant that once they develop the boost vehicle which they want all the other services to share, it will save time and money for them to just test it once, and if the sub requirements envelope the air launched and ground launched requirements, you save on environmental testing.
I’ve been thinking two things may be coming down the pipe for the last 2 years: a hypersonic conventional strike weapon launched from a Trident tube, or a Raytheon SM-3/6 modification program to make them fit / adaptable to a Trident tube. Considering that the forces recently announced they want to transition away from having to defend the shores with Aegis BMD, and instead they want to leverage ‘Aegis Ashore’ installations (and no doubt THAAD installations), I would think maybe utilizing all those SM-3 launch tubes on the surface fleet for something offensive instead of defensive would make a lot of sense. I wonder if you can beef up an SM-3 Block IIB even further.
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