Flight tests using a ship-based hypersonic missile launcher will start in 2024, according to Lockheed Martin.
The Navy aims to field hypersonic weapons aboard the destroyer Zumwalt in 2025, and the ship is currently undergoing a modernization period to install the Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike hypersonic missile system, among other updates. American Shipbuilder HII is outfitting the destroyer with the weapon system in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
“The upgrades will ensure Zumwalt remains one of the most technologically advanced and lethal ships in the U.S. Navy,” Cmdr. Arlo Abrahamson, a spokesperson for the Naval Surface Force, told Navy Times in a statement in August.
Lockheed Martin, which is developing the launcher, the weapon control system and other pieces of the missile, announced in February that flight tests would commence in 2024.