US Army hones in on resolution for brand spanking new mid-range missile pursuit

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army’s new pursuit for a mid-range missile can be finalized by the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office by the tip of the yr, the workplace’s director advised Defense News in an interview forward of the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual convention.

The service has set a objective to discipline the chosen missile in lower than three years — by the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023 — which suggests it may possibly’t begin from scratch, stated Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood.

“You might be able to take something that’s in the [science & technology] world already and do something with it,” he stated. ” You might be able to take an existing joint service program and do something with it. There are lots of opportunities. I don’t think that ’23 is an unrealistic outcome.”

The RCCTO acquired the mission in July following a strategic fires examine performed by the Army’s drive growth arm earlier this yr. The growth workforce had discovered a spot within the service’s capability to achieve enemy targets within the 500-2,000-kilometer vary.

Defense News first reported the Army’s plan to pursue the mid-range missile in September.

“We’ve had it for, you know a hundred days or so. But we’re very narrowed in on a couple of very specific solution sets right now,” Thurgood stated, “and trying to figure out: OK, what is it? If we do this, what are the rest of the things that we have to do? So I think we’re relatively close on that outcome.”

Thurgood stated as soon as the Army chooses a fabric resolution, it can stay within the labeled realm “for some time.” The service plans to take this strategy “until we’re comfortable that we’re on the right path and the technologies we need are protected. We’ll be pretty careful.”

“We need to pursue this with great speed and really make ’23 a year that changes everything in both [the European and Pacific] theaters,” Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, who is in charge of the Army’s long-range precision fires modernization effort, told Defense News in an interview last month.

“You can see in the Pacific where that would be so valuable, having the mid-range capability that can attack maritime targets,” he added. And in Europe, “you hold the adversary’s assets at risk in depth.”

Having a deep portfolio of range capabilities in the Pacific provides a large mix of options because there are so many different locations from which to fire missiles. Mixing and matching ranges from a wide variety of locations “creates an incredible dilemma for the enemy,” Rafferty said.

The RCCTO also leads the development and fielding of a ground-launched hypersonic capability for the Army. The Army and Navy performed a successful flight test of its co-developed hypersonic glide body in March.

The next flight test will take place in the third quarter of FY21, followed by a second flight test in the first quarter of FY22 and a third flight test in the third quarter of FY22, Thurgood said.

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