Report to Congress on Army Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon

December 5, 2023 11:10 AM

The following is the Dec. 4, 2023, Congressional Research Service report, The U.S. Army’s Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW).

From the report

What Is the Army’s Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon?

The Army’s Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW), with a reported range of 1,725 miles, consists of a ground-launched missile equipped with a hypersonic glide body and associated transport, support, and fire control equipment. According to the Army

This land-based, truck-launched system is armed with hypersonic missiles that can travel well over 3,800 miles per hour. They can reach the top of the Earth’s atmosphere and remain just beyond the range of air and missile defense systems until they are ready to strike, and by then it’s too late to react.

The Army further notes

The LRHW system provides the Army a strategic attack weapon system to defeat Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) capabilities, suppress adversary long-range fires, and engage other high payoff/time critical targets. The Army is working closely with the Navy in the development of the LRHW. LRHW is comprised of the Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB), and the Navy 34.5-inch booster.

LRHW Components


The missile component of the LRHW is reportedly being developed by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. When the hypersonic glide body is attached, it is referred to as the Navy-Army All Up Round plus Canister (AUR+C). The missile component serves as the common two-stage booster for the Army’s LRHW and the Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) system, which can be fired from both surface vessels and submarines.

Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB)

The C-HGB is reportedly based on the Alternate Re-Entry System developed by the Army and Sandia National Laboratories. Dynetics, a subsidiary of Leidos, is currently under contract to produce C-HGB prototypes for the Army and Navy. The C-HGB “uses a booster rocket motor to accelerate to well-above hypersonic speeds, and then jettisons the expended rocket booster.” The C-HGB is planned to be maneuverable, making it more difficult to detect and intercept and “can travel at Mach 5 or higher … at least five times faster than the speed of sound or up to 13,000 miles per hour.”

LRHW Organization and Units

The LRHW is organized into batteries. According to the Army “a LRHW battery consists of four Transporter Erector Launchers on modified M870A4 trailers, each equipped with two AUR+Cs (eight in total), one Battery Operations Center (BOC) for command and control, and a BOC support vehicle.”

The 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, was designated to operate the first battery of eight LRHW missiles. The battalion, also referred to as a Strategic Long-Range Fires battalion, is part of the Army’s 1st Multi Domain Task Force (MDTF), a unit in the Indo Pacific-oriented I Corps stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Other LRHW batteries are planned for Strategic Long-Range Fires battalions in the remaining MDTFs scheduled for activation.

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