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US Navy Seeking Ship-Killing Hypersonic Missile

The US Navy is looking to develop an air-launched, ship-killing missile with hypersonic speed, according to budget justification documents obtained by Breaking Defense.

Dubbed the HALO (Hypersonic Air-launched Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare Weapon), the missile could receive a $92 million budget for research and development beginning next year.

A $56 million budget for a similar effort was requested last year, but the service failed to get the green light for the program.

According to budget documents, the HALO will have a higher speed and more extended range than existing anti-ship weapon systems.

It will reportedly feature “superior anti-surface warfare capabilities” to address advanced threats and allow the service to operate in a contested environment.

Once developed, the US Navy plans to field the technology by 2028.

‘A National Imperative’

The HALO is the second major hypersonic weapons program the US Navy has sought to undertake.

Budget documents asserted that investing in the ship-killing weapon should be considered “a national imperative.”

The HALO program is expected to reach “Milestone B” by the end of 2023, indicating that the technology is cleared to begin producing prototypes.

Additionally, the program’s acquisition strategy will follow a “competitive, phased approach,” and the US Navy will tap the help of multiple vendors to mature the missile’s design.

The hypersonic weapon could be integrated into a Zumwalt-class destroyer in 2025 and a Virginia-class submarine in 2028.

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