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Lt. Gen. Neil Thurgood Provides Update on Army’s Hypersonic Weapon Tech Delivery Effort

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Lt. Gen. Neil Thurgood, the U.S. Army’s director for hypersonics, directed energy, space and rapid acquisition, said his office completed in late September the deployment of a hypersonic weapon system to the first unit at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington in order for the latter to start training using the system.

Thurgood, who also leads the Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, told Defense News in an interview published Tuesday his office will conclude development and testing work on an all-up round or missile system.

“And so we have a series of flight tests over the next year and a half, 18 months, that will complete that work and so by the end of [fiscal year 20]23, which was our mission set, we will have a warfighting capability for our nation,” he added.

Thurgood discussed the semi-annual demonstration being conducted by the joint office responsible for counter-small unmanned aircraft systems. He mentioned upcoming plans to release a request for white papers on counter-UAS as a service and directed energy.

He provided information on the Directed Energy Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense system, discussed work on hybrid electric vehicles and offered updates on the Indirect Fires Protection Capability program.

“For the IFPC program, we’ll make our decision on the laser and the high-power microwave August of ‘22. And then we have to deliver those first batteries in ‘24,” Thurgood said.