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Defense and Intelligence

Army Releases New Plan to Address Issues With Hypersonic Missile Launcher

Doug Bush,

Acquisition Chief,

US Army

Army Releases New Plan to Address Issues With Hypersonic Missile Launcher

The U.S. Army has released a plan to address “mechanical engineering problems” with the service’s hypersonic weapon launcher that it claims is the cause of recent test failures.

Doug Bush, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, a 2023 Wash100 awardee and a past Potomac Officers Club speaker, said the plan involves decoupling Dark Eagle Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon missile and launcher testing to prevent delays. The service will also focus on smaller-scale, subcomponent-level testing to ensure that problems with the launcher will be addressed and that users will be confident that the platform will work ahead of fielding.

The Army and the U.S. Navy are working together on the Dark Eagle hypersonic missile, but whereas the Army uses a truck-based launcher, the Navy has a platform suited for the Zumwalt-class surface vessel and other open water ships. Both services will work together to address the launcher issue, Breaking Defense reported.

Bush previously said Dark Eagle is unlikely to be deployed in 2023 because of unspecified delays. His announcement came after the planned critical testing for the hypersonic missile was suspended in September.

Despite delays, the U.S. government continues to perform ancillary hypersonics testing to ensure that the platform will be developed.

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