Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon deployed to Cape Canaveral for testing
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service2023–present [1]
Used byUnited States Army[2]
United States Navy (planned)
Production history
ManufacturerLockheed Martin
Unit cost$41 million[3]
Mass16,300 lb (7,400 kg)[1]
Diameter34.5 in (0.88 m)(reportedly)[4]

1725+ mi (2875+ km)[2]
Maximum speed Mach 17[5]

The Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) is a medium-range surface-to-surface hypersonic weapon for use by the United States Army in 2023. The United States Navy intends to procure a ship/submarine-launched variant of the missile as part of the service's Intermediate-Range Conventional Prompt Strike (IRCPS) program.[2] The weapon consists of a large rocket booster that carries the unpowered Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) in a nose cone. Once the booster reaches significant altitude and speed, it releases the C-HGB, which glides at hypersonic speeds as it descends towards its target. Dynetics will build the glide vehicle while Lockheed Martin will build the booster as well as assemble the missile and launch equipment.[6]

The C-HGB has been successfully tested twice, in October 2017 and March 2020.[7] The missile is planned to enter service with the Army in 2023.[8] The Navy intends to field the weapon aboard its Zumwalt-class destroyers by 2025[8] and later on its Block V Virginia-class submarines[9] in 2028; it was intended to also be fielded on guided missile variants of the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, but funding delays and the boats' impending retirement caused those plans to be scrapped.[10]

Development and testing

Common-Hypersonic Glide Body

In 2018, the Navy was designated to lead the design of the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body with input from the Army's Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office.[11]


A 2020 test launch of a prototype of the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body

The design of the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body is based on the previously developed Alternate Re-Entry System, which was tested in the early 2010s as part of the Army's Advanced Hypersonic Weapon program.[12] The Alternate Re-Entry System was itself based on the Sandia Winged Energetic Reentry Vehicle Experiment (SWERVE) prototype developed by Sandia National Laboratories in the 1980s.[13] Design work is by Sandia while Dynetics constructs prototypes and test units.


The first test of the Intermediate Range Conventional Prompt Strike Flight Experiment-1, was on 30 October 2017. A missile capable of fitting in the launch tube of an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine flew over 2,000 nautical miles from Hawaii to the Marshall Islands at hypersonic speeds.[14] The Common-Hypersonic Glide Body was tested in March 2020.[7]

LRHW subsystems were tested at Project Convergence 2022 (PC22).[15][16]


The first stage solid rocket motor was tested 27 May 2020.[17]

Both stages of the missile booster as well as a thrust vector control system were tested in 2021.[18]

On 29 October 2021, the booster rocket for the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon was successfully tested in a static test in Utah; the first stage thrust vector control system was included in the test.[19]

In March 2021, training with inert missile canisters began.[1] On 7 October 2021, 17th Field Artillery Brigade of the I Corps received ground equipment for the first operational LRHW battery.[20]

In June 2022 in Hawaii, a launch failure of Conventional Prompt Strike occurred after ignition.[21] The test of an All-Up-Round for CPS, which uses a two-stage booster,[22] failed before ignition of the C-HGB.[23]

Entry into service

The United States Army intends to deploy the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon in an eight missile battery containing four M983 trucks and trailers each holding two missiles in launch canisters alongside a command vehicle.[7] The LRHW has been named Dark Eagle by the US Army.[24][25]

In February 2023, the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment (5-3 LRFB) — 1st MDTF's long-range fires battalion— deployed the LRHW from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Tacoma, Washington to Cape Canaveral, Florida. The first battery of missiles was expected to be deployed by end of September 2023.[26]

On 7 September 2023, a test launch of the LRHW system was canceled due to an unspecified failure of pre-flight checks.[27][28]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Manuel, Rojoef. "US Army Deploys First Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon in Florida". the defense post.
  2. ^ a b c Richard Parlato (March 30 2023) 1st Multi-Domain Task Force deploys the Army’s first Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon system Ranges for:
  3. ^ CBO Estimates $15-18 Million Cost Per ARRW Hypersonic Missile. Air & Space Forces Magazine. 1 February 2023.
  4. ^ Trevithick, Joseph. "Navy Wants Triple-Packed Hypersonic Missile Modules On Its Stealthy Zumwalt Destroyers". The Drive.
  5. ^ Trevithick, Joseph. "Army Shows First-Ever Footage Of New Hypersonic Missile In Flight And Impacting". The Drive.
  6. ^ Roblin, Sebastien (30 April 2020). "The Pentagon Plans to Deploy an Arsenal of Hypersonic Weapons in the 2020s". Forbes. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. (20 Mar 2020) Hypersonics: Army, Navy Test Common Glide Body "The U.S. Navy and U.S. Army jointly executed the launch of a common hypersonic glide body (C-HGB), which flew at hypersonic speed to a designated impact point"
  8. ^ a b Megan Eckstein (17 Feb 2023) Navy awards Lockheed Martin $1.2B contract for hypersonic missiles
  9. ^ LaGrone, Sam (28 April 2021). "CNO: Hypersonic Weapons at Sea to Premiere on Zumwalt Destroyers in 2025". USNI News. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  10. ^ Hypersonic Weapons on Track to Deploy on Attack Submarines in 2028. USNI News. 18 November 2021.
  11. ^ "Hypersonics by 2023". United States Army. 4 September 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  12. ^ Kelley M. Sayler (Updated April 26, 2021) Hypersonic Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress Congressional Research Service, report R45811: also see version of (July 11, 2019)
  13. ^ Threvithick, Joseph (3 June 2019). "Here's What The Army's First Ever Operational Hypersonic Missile Unit Will Look Like". The Drive. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  14. ^ "Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles". Congressional Research Service. 8 January 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  15. ^ Patrick Tucker (21 Oct 2022) The Military’s Network Warfare Experiment Scaled Up This Year
  16. ^ Megan Eckstein (1 Nov 2022) US Navy touts hypersonic missile progress ahead of 2025 fielding Army LRHW to use 'hot launch'; Navy to use pressurized air to launch from submarines.
  17. ^ Eckstein, Megan (27 May 2021). "US Navy conducts first live-fire test of hypersonic missile motor". Defense News.
  18. ^ Justin Katz (25 Aug 2021) Navy Successfully Tests Solid Rocket Motor For Hypersonic Weapon
  19. ^ Mike Stone (29 Oct 2021) U.S. successfully tests hypersonic booster motor in Utah
  20. ^ "Army delivers first hypersonics ground equipment". 7 October 2021. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  21. ^ Jon Herskovitz and Tony Capaccio Bloomberg News (30 Jun 2022) Hypersonic missile test fails off Hawaii in fresh setback for program
  22. ^ Brendan Cole (1 Jul 2022) Russia Reacts to U.S. Hypersonic Missile Failure
  23. ^ Oren Liebermann (30 Jun 2022) Latest US hypersonic test fails after 'anomaly' during first full flight test of all-up-round
  24. ^ "'Confident' Of 2023 Fielding Goal, Army Dubs Hypersonic Weapon 'Dark Eagle'". 11 August 2021.
  25. ^ Emre Kelly, Florida Today (6 Mar 2023) Department of Defense scrubs hypersonic missile test at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
  26. ^ Parlato, Richard (30 March 2023). "1st Multi-Domain Task Force Deploys the Army's First Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon System". U.S. Army. Retrieved 16 September 2023.
  27. ^ "US Army cancels flight test of Long Range Hypersonic Weapon". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  28. ^ Anthony Capaccio (14 Sep 2023) US Army Faces Facts:Its Hypersonic Weapon To Miss a Deadline