TechHypersonic breakthrough: Successful C-HGB missile test boosts U.S. defence

Hypersonic breakthrough: Successful C‑HGB missile test boosts U.S. defence

Dark Eagle LRHW system launcher
Dark Eagle LRHW system launcher
Images source: © Public domain
Łukasz Michalik

30 June 2024 07:06

After a series of trials with varying success, the Pentagon can announce an important victory. The latest test of the C-HGB missile proceeded without problems. The weapon tested by the Americans will give them the capability for a quick strike at a distance of nearly 1,500 miles (2,400 km).

The success of the latest C-HGB missile test was announced in an official statement by the U.S. Department of Defense. The new weapon trial was conducted in the Pacific – the missile was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) base.

Due to its specific location, this American research facility offers unique capabilities. PMRF is the only facility in the world where submarine and surface ships, ballistic missiles, aircraft, and spacecraft can simultaneously operate and be tracked. This is facilitated by a controlled airspace area of more than 30,000 square miles.

The Department of Defense, in a terse comment, did not share details about the test. "Through our collective efforts, we are developing new equipment and adopting new defence concepts that will enable the U.S. Army to maintain an edge over all potential adversaries," said Gen. Robert Rasch Jr., director of the RCCTO (Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office).

Speaking of collective efforts, Gen. Rasch likely refers to the collaboration between the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army to develop new weapons. The former is responsible for the design, while the latter handles the production of the new weapon.

Dark Eagle LRHW and CPS hypersonic systems

The C-HGB missile is part of a larger system. It is a futuristic hypersonic missile featuring an unpowered, gliding C-HGB effector (Common-Hypersonic Glide Body) and a two-stage solid propellant rocket motor (SRM).

This weapon is being developed to meet the needs of the U.S. Army and Navy, which are conducting two developmental programs: Dark Eagle LRHW and CPS (Conventional Prompt Strike).

In the first case, the Army plans to place the missiles in containerised dual launchers towed by tractors. In the second, the Navy intends to install hypersonic missile launchers on futuristic Zumwalt-class destroyers.

The missiles are expected to have a diameter of 88 centimetres (34.6 inches) and a mass of 7,400 kilogrammes (16,300 pounds), offering a range of 1,400 miles (2,300 km). During the terminal phase of an attack, the descending C-HGB effector is expected to accelerate to Mach 17.

Related content