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USS Zumwalt Destroyer Prepares for Hypersonic Missiles

USS Zumwalt Destroyer Prepares for Hypersonic Missiles

One of the 155 mm AGS main guns on the USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) has been removed to integrate CPS hypersonic boost-glide missiles. The U.S. Navy’s plan to install Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) hypersonic missiles in place of the 155 mm Advanced Gun Systems (AGS) has taken a step toward eliminating a gun. Six vertical launch cells for the missiles will replace each gun, making a total of 12 missiles. 155 mm AGS is costly to operate because of its expensive LRLAP two-stage guided ammunition, which costs above $1 million per round (Comparable to a Harpoon anti-ship missile). The service intends to render the Zumwalt-class destroyers strategic strike assets with the long-range CPS hypersonic boost-glide missiles. The procurement plan for the CPS hypersonic weapon system is well underway. Eight of these advanced missiles will be purchased in FY24, with the number projected to peak at 22 in FY27. The U.S. Navy’s budget plan release outlines a total planned amount of 61 missiles, clearly indicating the Navy’s commitment to this cutting-edge technology. The missile consists of a booster and a hypersonic glide vehicle. After the booster carries the glide vehicle to a high altitude, the glide vehicle begins its course to the target at the upper layers of the atmosphere. For commonality, CPS shares the same glide vehicle with the Army’s LRHW missile. Compared to BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles onboard the Mk57 VLS, CPS has the advantage of significantly longer range and shorter time to target.

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