On October 30, the U.S. Navy’s Strategic Systems Program (SSP) tested a prototype conventional prompt strike missile with a modified Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) boost-glide vehicle. The test, titled Intermediate Range Conventional Prompt Strike Flight Experiment-1 (CPS FE-1), was conducted on behalf of the Department of Defense at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii.
“The test collected data on hypersonic boost-glide technologies and test-range performance for long-range atmospheric flight. This data will be used by the Department of Defense to anchor ground testing, modeling, and simulation of hypersonic flight vehicle performance and is applicable to a range of possible Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) concepts,” said a Pentagon spokesman. SSP director Vice Adm. Terry Benedict called the test, “a monumental achievement.”
If selected for maturation, the CPS missile could be deployed on the future Virginia-class guided-missile submarines (SSGNs), rather than Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines. The Virginia-class subs are expected to be equipped with a Virginia Payload Module to provide the smaller submarine-class additional missile tube capacity.