U.S. Navy Budgets $3.61 Billion For 64 Boost-Glide Missiles

Common Hypersonic Glide Body
Credit: Steve Trimble/AW&ST

The U.S. Navy has budgeted $3.61 billion to buy the first 64 hypersonic Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) missiles over the next five years, a new budget document shows. 

The budget documents offer the first glimpse of the procurement profile for the boost-glide hypersonic missile that is common between the Navy’s CPS program and the U.S. Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon program. 

The production profile starts with eight missiles in fiscal 2024, followed by 10 in fiscal 2025, 11 in fiscal 2026, 16 in fiscal 2027 and 19 in fiscal 2028, according to a budget justification document released on March 22. 

In a perhaps counterintuitive twist, the flyaway unit cost is expected to rise steeply as production volume increases over the five-year period. 

A single CPS missile purchased in fiscal 2028 is expected to cost $56 million, or 45% more than the $38.5 million flyaway price tag for the same weapon acquired in fiscal 2024. 

But the cost increase reflects a plan to steadily insert the latest technology in the new breed of hypersonic boost-glide missiles. 

The Navy plans to field the CPS missile on the Zumwalt-class destroyer in fiscal 2025 with the Technology Insertion (TI)-22 standard. A long-term schedule also shows that the design for TI-24-standard missiles should be complete in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2024, with TI-26-standard missiles entering the design phase in the second quarter of fiscal 2025.

Steve Trimble

Steve covers military aviation, missiles and space for the Aviation Week Network, based in Washington DC.