U.S. Marine Corps eyes DARPA OpFires hypersonic missile to target enemy ships from islands in the Pacific

June 15, 2021
Though not equipped yet to fire hypersonic missiles, HIMARS in theory could be adapted to fire hypersonic missiles quickly at enemy ships.

WASHINGTON – U.S. military researchers are teaming up with Lockheed Martin Corp. to develop a intermediate-range, ground-launched hypersonic weapon called OpFires or Operational Fires. The National Interest reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

15 June 2021 -- OpFires would mate a new variable-range hypersonic missile with mobile ground-based weapons that could attack valuable time-critical targets on land and at sea.

The project actually an important revolution in hypersonic missile design. What makes this project particularly difficult — and therefore within DARPA’s purview — is that this hypersonic rocket will be throttleable.

U.S. Marines are training to perform an extremely rapid infiltration and exfiltration on enemy-held islands in the Pacific. Once secure, Air Force transports could land and unload OpFires-equipped HIMARS long-range rocket artillery to target enemy ships.

Related: BAE Systems to provide sensor fusion-based missile seekers for Lockheed Martin LRASM in $60 million contract

Related: Lockheed Martin to build sophisticated air-to-surface missiles and guidance in deals worth $843.7 million

Related: Meeting SWaP needs for electronics and sensors for hypersonic flight

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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