Lockheed Martin has received a new contract to provide the first sea-based hypersonic strike capability for the US Navy’s surface combatant vessels.
The estimated value of this initial award is approximately $1.1bn, however, this value may increase to $2bn if all the contract options are exercised.
Under this award, the company will be responsible for the integration of conventional prompt strike (CPS) weapon system onto the US Navy’s Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyers.
As the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin will also be responsible for providing associated platform integration support as well as the missile components, such as all up rounds (AURs), launcher systems and weapon control.
Apart from Lockheed Martin, the contract also involves participation of other industry partners, including General Dynamics Mission Systems and Northrop Grumman.
Lockheed Martin said that the three companies are on track to deliver the CPS capability to the US Navy sailors by mid-2020s.
Lockheed Martin Hypersonic Strike Weapon Systems vice-president Steve Layne said: “Lockheed Martin continues to advance hypersonic strike capability for the US through this new contract.
“Early design work is already underway. Our team looks forward to supporting warfighters by providing more options to further protect America at sea.”
The new hypersonic boost-glide weapon system is being integrated to provide long range missile flight capabilities to the vessels. It will further provide high survivability to the US Navy fleet against a wide range of enemy defences.
This surface-launched, sea-based hypersonic missile can fly at the speeds of Mach 5, which is higher than the speed of sound.
The company informed that CPS has the same AUR as that of the US Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon and can also be launched from various platforms, including land-based mobile launchers, surface vessels and submarines.