A Hypersonics First: Integration on a Navy Stealth Destroyer

A Hypersonics First: Integration on a Navy Stealth Destroyer
February 20, 2023

The U.S. military is doing what it has never done before: integrating a hypersonic weapon system to a naval platform. Lockheed Martin is working with the U.S. Navy, U.S Army, and government and industry partners to bring hypersonic capability to the sea, undersea and land domains by the mid-to-late 2020s.

How we’re enabling surface-launched sea hypersonic strike capability

Lockheed Martin is committed to advancing hypersonic strike capability. On a new contract, awarded in February 2023 by the U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin will bring the Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) weapon system onto the first DDG-1000 ZUMWALT-class destroyer. It will be the first conventional sea-based hypersonic strike capability for the United States.

Hypersonic vehicles or hypersonic missiles can travel more than five times faster than the speed of sound, which make them extremely capable. Hypersonics decrease time-to-target, with high survivability against enemy defenses at long range. CPS is a hypersonic boost-glide missile and weapon system that will be fielded on multiple platforms for the U.S. Navy.

“With CPS aboard the mobile and advanced ZUMWALT-class destroyer, Lockheed Martin and its industry partners will give U.S. sailors more options than ever to deter, defend, and where necessary, defeat threats,” said Sarah Hiza, vice president and general manager for Strategic and Missile Defense at Lockheed Martin. “This contract allows us to continue to support this urgent need and field hypersonic capability to the U.S. Navy.”

On the most recent contract, Lockheed Martin’s work includes launcher systems, weapon control, All Up Rounds plus Canisters (AUR+Cs), weapon system integration, logistics, and support to platform integration for the ZUMWALT platform. The work will also include planning for demonstration and test, as well as planning for fielded support in the future. The contract also provides for additional AUR+Cs for Army Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) testing, training and tactical employment.

An Important Mission

Put simply, hypersonic technologies are a game changer. They increase the warfighter’s response options, challenge the adversary’s ability and time to counter and react, and provide an effective deterrent by holding adversaries’ most valuable targets at risk.

As one of the highest priority modernization areas for the Department of Defense (DoD), hypersonic systems and enabling technologies are also a critical part of Lockheed Martin’s 21st Century Security vision in support of our customers. We’re leveraging more than 60 years of hypersonic strike experience to deliver these game-changing capabilities in support of the U.S. National Defense Strategy.

“I’m constantly impressed by this team’s dedication to the mission. We’re helping our customers ensure that those we serve  stay ahead of ready to address the threats of today and in the future,” said Steve Layne, vice president of Hypersonic Strike Weapon Systems at Lockheed Martin.

Fielding Undersea

Fielding CPS aboard ZUMWALT-class destroyers is a critical step toward future fielding on VIRGINIA-Class attack submarines (SSNs), the Navy’s primary deployment objective for CPS.

“Many of the things we will do and learn with ZUMWALT integration will carry forward to the next endeavors,” Layne explained. “We’re leaning forward in investment and in partnership with the Navy because the CPS capability is needed today.”

While each of these naval platforms is different, they will share common weapon system technologies. In fact, a common missile was developed for multiple Navy and Army platforms. The Navy will field the CPS weapon system and the U.S. Army will field its LRHW with this capability.

“We like to say: three platforms, two services, one mission,” Layne said.

Prepared and Delivering

Lockheed Martin is primed to support the U.S. Navy on both platforms for the CPS weapon system. On CPS, Lockheed Martin is utilizing a talented team with engineering expertise developing CPS from the ground-up.

“We continue developing, building, and integrating hardware to support the Navy and Army including preparation for the next flight test. From Denver, Colorado to Courtland, Alabama and other Lockheed Martin and supplier locations across the United States, we are bringing the nation what our warfighters urgently need,” said Layne.

Navy CPS fielding on the ZUMWALT-class destroyer and VIRGINIA-class attack submarines (SSNs) is scheduled for the mid-to-late 2020’s.

Lockheed Martin and our industry and government partners are currently laying the groundwork for future hypersonic flight testing. Equipment has been in the hands of the Army unit for more than one year. Lockheed Martin delivered LRHW equipment to the Army, which equipped soldiers with it last October. LRHW and CPS share a common hypersonic AUR missile, developed by the Navy in conjunction with Lockheed Martin.  LRHW is on track for fielding in FY23.

Our vision for 21st Century Security includes key technologies, including the rapid development and fielding of hypersonics. Learn more about 21st Century Security and how Lockheed Martin is innovating with urgency here.