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Pentagon Upgrades $2.38B Naval Hypersonic Missile Contract 

The US Department of Defense has added $61.9 million to a previous $2.38 billion Lockheed Martin Intermediate Range Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) Weapon System contract. 

The 2019 contract involves designing, developing, and integrating the hypersonic naval weapon system’s rocket motors, missile body, support equipment, and its eventual demonstration and deployment by February 2024.

The CPS is a non-nuclear-weapon system project for a “precise and timely strike capability in contested environments.” According to a Defense Technical Information Center report, the weapon provides the US forces with a “niche” capability to strike “select and critical targets.” It added that it “would allow the United States to strike targets anywhere on Earth in as little as an hour,” bolstering America’s military deterrence.

Common Missile for Army, Navy 

The navy’s CPS and the army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon system feature a standard hypersonic munition “while developing individual weapon systems and launchers tailored for launch from sea or land.” The missile has a stated range of over 2,775 kilometers (1,724 miles).

The two services are jointly developing the missile glide body — with the navy as the lead designer and the army leading the production. They will conduct joint flight tests of the missiles in the next stage of development.

Lockheed’s chief executive Marillyn Hewson was cited by Defense World in April as saying that the company was developing the weapon system to catch up with China and Russia.

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