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November 1, 2021

US Navy conducts second live fire test of hypersonic rocket motor

The full common hypersonic missile will be tested by both the US Navy and Army.

The US Navy has conducted a second live fire test of the first stage solid rocket motor (SRM) in Promontory, Utah.

Conducted on 28 October, the static fire test represents a development milestone and takes the hypersonic rocket motor closer to flight testing by the US Navy and Army.

Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition Hypersonics director lieutenant general L Neil Thurgood said: “This test continues to build momentum to deliver hypersonics capability for our warfighters in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“Fielding hypersonic weapons is one of the highest priority modernisation areas the Department of Defense is pursuing to ensure our continued battlefield dominance, and the joint team did a tremendous job executing this test and keeping us on schedule.”

During this testing, the missile booster’s thrust vector control system was included in the first stage SRM.

A series of tests have been planned to prove the newly developed common hypersonic missile.

The latest SRM test follows previous tests of the first and second stages carried out in May and August, respectively.

The evaluations will support the development of the US Navy’s conventional prompt strike offensive hypersonic strike capability and the long-range hypersonic weapon (LRHW) capability of the US Army.

Navy Strategic Systems Programs director vice-admiral Johnny Wolfe Jr said: ”Today’s successful test brings us one step closer to the design validation of our new hypersonic missile that will be fielded by both the Navy and the Army.

”We are on schedule for the upcoming flight test of the full common hypersonic missile. Our partners across government, industry, and academia are continuing the excellent work that is essential to providing a hypersonic capability to our warfighters as quickly as possible.”

Johnny Wolfe Jr is the lead designer for the common hypersonic missile.

Last month, Lockheed Martin opened an advanced hypersonic strike production facility in Courtland, Alabama, US.

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