DARPA Contracts Lockheed Martin for Hypersonic Weapons Work

Artist's impression of the DARPA/US Army Operational Fires concept. (DARPA)

Artist’s impression of the DARPA/U.S. Army Operational Fires concept. Image: DARPA

Lockheed Martin has been contracted to work with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency on a mobile missile system that can travel at five times the speed of sound.

The $31.9 million contract for the Operational Fires Phase 3 Weapon System Integration program involves DARPA, Lockheed Martin and the Army developing and demonstrating a mobile, ground-launched system to enable a hypersonic boost glide missile system to penetrate modern enemy air defenses and quickly engage time-sensitive targets.

Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will be working from the design of the initial requirements development through the Critical Design Review stage in late 2021. Flight testing is scheduled to begin in 2022 with component and subsystem tests expected in 2021.

“The OpFires missile is critical to providing the U.S. Army with a highly maneuverable and rapid response solution capable of operating from unpredictable land-launch positions to suppress hostile threats,” said Hady Mourad, director of Tactical and Strike Missiles Advanced Programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “Lockheed Martin will deliver the prototype missiles utilizing the experienced production teams that currently produce the ATACMS, GMLRS and PAC-3 missile systems in Camden, Arkansas.”

Lockheed Martin has worked in hypersonic technology for more than 30 years.

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