Navy awards Lockheed Martin 12 billion contract for hypersonic missiles

Navy awards Lockheed Martin $1.2 billion contract for hypersonic missiles

WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin will supply the Navy and Army with hypersonic missiles to integrate with the Navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyers in a $1.2 billion deal awarded on Friday.

Lockheed Martin is the integrator for the Hypersonic Weapons program – what the Navy calls Conventional Prompt Strike and the Army calls Long Range Hypersonic Weapon. The two services share a common round but put it in different launchers.

According to a company statement, the contract will see Lockheed Martin provide the Navy with launch systems, weapons control, all-up rounds and integration work to link the missiles to the Zumwalt destroyers.

The Navy has already placed an order with HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding to modify the top-of-the-line Zumwalt to support these missiles, which require launchers much larger than the typical Mk 41 vertical launch system on other surface ships. The shipyard expects to complete the modifications by the end of 2025. At this point the Navy would begin testing the integration between the ship and the weapons system.

The Navy will also use CPS on some Virginia-class attack submarines later in the decade.

The Feb. 17 contract also includes additional rounds and canisters for the Army, which plans to deploy the weapon system on truck-based launchers later this year. The contract would be worth more than $2.2 billion if all options were exercised.

“Lockheed Martin continues to advance the hypersonic strike capability of the United States through this new contract,” said Steve Layne, vice president of Hypersonic Strike Weapon Systems at Lockheed Martin, in a Feb. 17 press release. “Early design work is already underway.”

The Defense Department’s announcement indicates that the contract also includes engineering development, systems integration, long lead material, and specialized tools and equipment to support missile production.

The Navy’s 2023 budget includes $1.2 billion for research and development for the Conventional Prompt Strike program, including additional funds provided by Congress for additional flight testing.

Megan Eckstein is a naval war reporter for Defense News. Since 2009, she has covered military news, with a focus on US Navy and Marine Corps operations, acquisition programs and budgets. She has reported from four geographic fleets and is happiest when submitting reports from one ship. Megan is a graduate of the University of Maryland.