Pentagon Efforts Challenged By ‘Immature’ Hypersonics Tech, Supply

The delivery of the first prototype hypersonic hardware to Soldiers of the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 17th Field Artillery Brigade is completed on Oct. 7, 2021, with a ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The Army is prototyping the land-based, ground launched Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) that will provide residual combat capability to Soldiers by Fiscal Year 2023. This prototype, being built under the direction of Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO), fields components of the LRHW to enable Soldiers to fully train with the system and build tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs). Hypersonic weapons, capable of flying at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5+), are a new capability that provide a unique combination of speed, maneuverability and altitude to defeat time-critical, heavily-defended and high value targets. Hypersonics is part of the Army’s number one modernization priority of Long Range Precision Fires, and is one of the highest priority modernization areas the Department of Defense is pursuing to ensure continued battlefield dominance. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Karleshia Gater)

AUSA 2023 — Defense Department efforts to speed acquisition of new hypersonic weapons continue to be challenged by the fact that the underlying technologies and industry supply chain have yet to fully develop, according to a senior Army official.

“Some of the hypersonic technologies and some of the hypersonic supply chain is immature,” said Chris Mills, Army Hypersonics Project Office deputy director at the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office.

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