JANUARY 7, 2022 – Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday traveled to Courtland and Huntsville, Alabama, January 6, to visit Dynetics and Lockheed Martin facilities with Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks.
Gilday toured facilities and received updates about hypersonic weapon technology development, advancements, and capabilities.
“In order to maintain a warfighting advantage against the increasingly aggressive modernization efforts of our primary challengers, it is imperative to accelerate the development and fielding of hypersonic capabilities,” Gilday said.
“Our partnerships with the Army and industry are paramount as we transition hypersonics from developmental to operational systems at speed and scale that will meet the needs of our Sailors, Soldiers and the nation.”
Hypersonic weapons, capable of flying at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5), are highly maneuverable and operate at varying altitudes.
The U.S. Navy and Army are working together to expand hypersonic capabilities through the use of a common glide body, common missile design, and joint test opportunities, in order to field hypersonic weapon systems in the mid- to late-2020s.
“Hypersonic systems provide a combination of speed, maneuverability and altitude that enables highly survivable, long-range, rapid defeat of time-critical, heavily-defended and high value targets,” Gilday added. “Delivering hypersonic weapons continues to be one of the Navy’s highest priorities, which the Navigation Plan makes clear.”
“I appreciate Adm. Mike Gilday for taking the time to visit Courtland and Huntsville as part of the Navy and Army’s collaboration with industry, government national laboratories, and academia to field hypersonic warfighting capability,” said Brooks.
“As the Co-Chair of the newly formed House Hypersonics Caucus, I’m doing all I can to help my Congressional colleagues understand that hypersonic systems are absolutely vital to America’s missile defenses and should be an urgent priority.”
Brooks added. “China and Russia are diligently strengthening their hypersonics capabilities and America must keep pace.”
The Navy and Army have been working in collaboration with industry, government national laboratories, and academia to field hypersonic warfighting capability.
This visit marked CNO’s first trip to Huntsville and Courtland.