Lockheed Martin Corp., Pentagon’s No.1 weapons supplier, posted the first public computer-generated graphics of Army’s Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW).
According to the presentation, the new weapon system will consist of four transporter erector launchers (TEL), each installed on a modified M870 40-ton trailer, and command posts.
Each TEL will have two canisterized hypersonic weapons at the ready and the unit will have an unspecified number of additional missiles on hand.
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As noted by the company, LRHW will leverage the common hypersonic glide body and introduce a new class of ultrafast and maneuverable long-range missiles with the ability to launch from ground mobile platforms.
The new weapon system will provide a critical strategic weapon and a powerful deterrent against adversary capabilities for the U.S. Army. Hypersonic missiles can reach the top of the Earth’s atmosphere and remain just beyond the range of air and missile defense systems until they are ready to strike, and by then it’s too late to react. Extremely accurate, ultrafast, maneuverable and survivable, hypersonics can strike anywhere in the world within minutes.
The Army is aiming to get the first long-range hypersonic weapon experimental prototype by the fiscal year 2023. The new land-based, truck-launched system should be armed with hypersonic missiles that can travel well over 3,800 miles per hour.