JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Today the U.S. Army equipped the I Corps’ 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 17th Field Artillery Brigade, with the nation’s first prototype hypersonic ground equipment.
Known as the Long Range Hypersonic Weapon, this land-based, ground-launched system will provide a critical weapon and powerful deterrent to adversaries.
Extremely accurate, exceptionally fast, maneuverable and survivable, hypersonics introduce a lethal combination that enable the long-range, rapid defeat of time-critical and high-value targets. Part of the Army’s No. 1 modernization priority, Long-Range Precision Fires, hypersonics are also one of the highest-priority modernization areas the Department of Defense is pursuing in its push for integrated deterrence.
The Army is celebrating the delivery of the LRHW hardware with a ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Oct. 7.
“Today marks an important milestone in equipping our nation’s first hypersonic battery,” said Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood, Director of Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition, who also oversees the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office. “From a blank piece of paper in March 2019, we – along with our industry partners and joint services – delivered this hardware in just over two years. Now, Soldiers can begin training.”
Delivery of the hardware began in March 2021 and finished at the end of September 2021. The delivery includes a battery operations center, four transporter erector launchers, and modified trucks and trailers that make up the LRHW ground equipment.
The fielding to the 5-3 FA will be complete in fiscal year 2023. Delivering the ground hardware first will allow the Soldiers to train on the equipment, create doctrine for this first-ever system, and develop tactics, techniques and procedures.
In executing hypersonics development and testing, the Army is closely linked with its joint service partners.
In March 2020, the Army began a series of joint tests, focusing on range, environmental extremes and contested environments. The tests will be complemented by training events as the Soldiers learn to employ the new technology.
Throughout the prototyping effort, Soldier-centered design touch-points were embedded and were influential in developing the system. Soldiers are at the center of this effort and are a critical part of the design effort.
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