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Alabama to produce prototypes for new U.S. Army Hypersonic Weapons

A view of the Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama just after sunset. STOCK

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, praised the U.S. Army’s decision to award two contracts for work in Alabama related to the production of hypersonic weapon systems.

One of the contracts is for Dynetics Technical Solutions in the amount of $351.6 million to produce Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) prototypes in Huntsville, Alabama. The second contract is for Lockheed Martin in the amount of $347 million to serve as the Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) prototype system integrator, part of which will be conducted in Courtland, Alabama.

“Hypersonic weapons are a critical priority as we continue to innovate and improve our nation’s defense,” said Senator Shelby. “The decision by the Army to select Dynetics, located right here in Alabama, and Lockheed Martin’s Courtland facility to advance this important national security initiative is a testament to the complex defense work taking place in our state. These contracts allow us to leverage commercial technology to field needed weapons to our soldiers in just a few years. This is incredible news, not only for Alabama, but also for the entire nation and the modernization of our armed forces.”

The $351.6 million contract awarded to Dynetics will provide for the production of at least 20 C-HGB prototypes. Over a three year period, Dynetics, in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories, will produce the first commercially manufactured set of prototype C-HGB systems. These will be used by the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, and the Missile Defense Agency. Dynetics is the prime contractor for the C-HGB and will provide program and supplier management; procurement; assembly, integration and testing; electrical and mechanical manufacturing; and systems engineering for the prototype.

The $347 million contract awarded to Lockheed Martin for its service as the LRHW prototype system integrator will allow for support in manufacturing, assembly, integration, test, systems engineering, and analysis – part of which will occur at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Courtland, Alabama.

Economic developer Nicole Jones told the Alabama Political Reporter, “Aerospace and aviation are dominant industries in Alabama. Our state has a long history of supporting the Department of Defense, both economically as well as in terms of devout appreciation for men and women in uniform. The US Army’s selection of Dynetics Technical Solutions in Huntsville (Madison County) and Lockheed Martin in Courtland (Lawrence County) reaffirm that our state has the quality and skilled workforce necessary to develop prototypes that are critical to missions involving national security.”

The C-HGB will be part of an integrated Army hypersonic weapons system prototype that will deliver residual combat capability to soldiers by Fiscal Year 2023. This will be a new class of ultrafast, maneuverable, long range missile that will launch from mobile ground platforms. Hypersonic weapons are unique in that they are capable of flying at five times the speed of sound and operate at varying altitudes.

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Nicole Jones shared, “Congratulations to Dynetics Technical Solutions (DTS) and Lockheed Martin on your contract awards, and thank you for your research and technological advances that aid our economy as well as the safety and security of our country.”

These contracts are part of the U.S. Army’s work to advance the fielding of a prototype hypersonic weapon by Fiscal Year 2023 and transition the development of Army hypersonic capabilities out of government laboratories and into commercial production.

The Army Hypersonic Project Office, part of the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO), is administering this effort. The Army Hypersonic Project Office is headquartered at Redstone Arsenal in North Alabama and is led by Lieutenant General L. Neil Thurgood.

Shelby is the Chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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