18 December 2019
Navy Starts Conventional Prompt Strike Missile Program Evidence of the growing Pentagon interest in hypersonic missiles, several exploratory programs have been shifted into engineering development over the past year. In 2019, DARPA relinquished control over the Conventional Prompt Global Strike program, with the effort transferred to the Navy’s Strategic Systems Program. Now called Conventional Prompt Strike, the effort became a program-of-record in late 2019. The aim of the program is to examine a new intermediate range missile that can be fired from Ohio-class missile submarines that have been converted to launch cruise missiles (SSGNs) and Virginia-class attack submarines equipped with the Virginia Payload Module.
The switch of control from DARPA to the Navy marked the end of the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction(TMRR)phase, with Engineering-Manufacturing Development (EMD) starting in 1QFY20.On 30 October 2018, the Navy flew the first CPS test, designated Flight Experiment 1, more than 2,000 nautical miles from Hawaii to the Marshall Islands. On 27 February 2019, Lockheed Martin Space was awarded an $846 million contract to design, develop and construct the Conventional Prompt Strike Weapon System for the US Navy. The contract modification covers the design, development, construction and integration of large diameter rocket motors, associated parts and related support equipment for flight test. The Navy expects to conduct the CPS Flight Experiment-2 in 2020 and FE-3 in 2022.So far, there is no estimate regarding an introduction into service.
The CPS missile is not called a ballistic missile since it employs a hypersonic maneuvering body to carry its warhead, called the Common Hypersonic Glide Body(C-HGB). On 30 August 2019, Dynetics Technical Solutions (DTS)of Huntsville, AL, was awarded a $351.6 million contract to build at least 20 Common Hypersonic Glide Bodies for both the Army and the Navy. The Army’s counterpart to the CPS is the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW). Lockheed Martin was awarded a $347 million contract in September 2019 for this program.