The U.S. Army plans to award two contracts for the development of a launching system and a glide body for its hypersonic missile in the coming weeks, Defense News reported Wednesday. Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood, director of the service’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, said the first contract will require the awardee to design and integrate a vertical launcher onto a trailer. He also mentioned that the service is in final talks with a company to build the glide body system under an other transaction authority contract.
“What is interesting about the glide body technology is we also have to create an industrial base to do this. There is no industrial base in the United States for glide bodies,” Thurgood said.
He noted that the U.S. Navy will own the glide body design, while the Army will oversee the production. The contracts are part of the Army’s plan to deploy a hypersonic missile and a launcher in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021 as well as carry out the first live round test in FY 2022.