Army Wants Hypersonic Missile Unit by 2023: Lt. Gen. Thurgood

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June 18, 2019 | Originally published by Date Line: June 18 on

PENTAGON: The Army will field a battery of truck-borne hypersonic missiles in 2023, with a contract award in August, the service’s new three-star Program Executive Officer said. The service will also field a battery of 50-kilowatt lasers on Stryker armored vehicles by 2021, he said. A program to put a 100-plus-kilowatt laser on a heavy truck, however, is under review and may be combined with Air Force and/or Navy efforts to reach comparable power levels, Lt. Gen. Neil Thurgood told reporters here this afternoon.

Thurgood’s recently reorganized and upgraded office will also take over key Army space programs, he said, but those organizations haven’t been brought under his command just yet.

Commonality is key, Thurgood said, with the three services combining their efforts and pooling resources wherever possible on these high-stakes, high-tech, high-cost programs. (Marine acquisition is mostly managed by the Navy). 

The Army will manage production of the Common Hypersonic Glide Body — the part of the missile that maneuvers — for all three services, Thurgood confirmed, although the Navy will lead the design work.

“We have the responsibility to build the industrial base in the US,” Thurgood said. “We kind of know how to build these things already; now what I have to do is create a capability to build a lot of them.”