Arms Race: US to Equip Submarines with Hypersonic Missiles by 2028

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From EAD – The Navy command confirmed that Global Strike hypersonic weapons will be used for the first time on Virginia-class nuclear submarines (Block V versions), and in the future on Columbia-class submarines. According to the American publication USNI News, the submarines will be equipped with new hypersonic missiles, consisting of the Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) strike unit and a two-stage accelerator, by 2028.

The US Navy in the budget for fiscal year 2021 is considering a research and development portfolio with funding totaling $ 21.5 billion, which is 5% more than this year. The funds will be used to provide innovative opportunities in shipbuilding, aviation, hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence, etc.

Specifically, the development of the carrier of the new C-HGB will be carried out as part of the CPS (Conventional Prompt Strike, non-nuclear fast strike) program. In total, the US military intends to spend $ 1 billion on research and development under the CPS program in the fiscal year 2021 (starting on October 1, 2020).

“The CPS program develops the capabilities of warfare in order to ensure the possibility of accurate and timely strikes in the disputed environment on ground and underground platforms,” the budget documents say.

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As part of the CPS program, the U.S. Navy expects to receive a 87.6 cm two-stage launch vehicle. This rocket will carry the C-HGB hypersonic planning unit, which is being developed by the American company Dynetics Technical Solutions. It is assumed that the booster will raise the glider and accelerate it to hypersonic speed. Then the device is already undocked from the carrier and will be able to plan for the goal.

According to preliminary plans by the U.S. Navy, the carrier and hypersonic planning unit should be ready by 2028, when new ammunition begins to arrive at the fleet. C-HGB missiles will be included in the arsenal of weapons of multipurpose submarines of the class “Virginia” version of Block V.

Defense News earlier reported that one of the two main hypersonic weapons programs in the US, the HCSW (Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon), was discontinued due to budgetary constraints. According to him, as part of the HCSW, Lockheed Martin Corporation developed hypersonic ammunition with a non-nuclear warhead designed to be launched from the B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber. It was assumed that a sample of these weapons will reach the state of initial alert in fiscal year 2022.

It was noted that after the closure of HCSW, all efforts will be focused on the ARRW (Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon) program, which involves the creation of a system with a unique design for the planning aircraft. The contract for these works was signed by the Pentagon with Lockheed Martin in early December 2019.

In the fiscal year 2021, the US Air Force intends to allocate only $ 382 million for the development of hypersonic programs, and $ 576 million has been allocated for this year.

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