Dynetics [LDOS] has received a $478.6 million prototype deal from the Army to work on developing a Hypersonic Thermal Protection System (TPS) for future hypersonic weapons.

The Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) awarded the deal to Dynetics on Nov. 19, which includes a 72-month base period of work covering delivery of TPS prototypes with an option for delivery of additional systems.

Artist rendering of a Dynetics-built hypersonic glide body weapon. (Image: Dynetics)
Artist rendering of a Dynetics-built hypersonic glide body weapon. Image: Leidos

“The Thermal Protection System shields elements of the [Army’s] Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) system and the Navy Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) from the extreme environments seen during flight. The effort will integrate and install the TPS to support LRHW and CPS program deliveries,” Robert Strider, deputy director of the Army RCCTO’s Hypersonic Project Office, told Defense Daily on Monday.

A total of five bids were submitted for the Hypersonic TPS work, while Strider said details on the other firms were competition sensitive and could not be released.

“[Dynetics] will develop hypersonic TPS prototypes from a new and maturing Technical Data Package, support materials research, and explore novel inspection and acceptance criteria,” Strider said.

Dynetics was previously tapped as the prime contractor tasked with producing the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) systems to be used on the future LRHW and CPS hypersonic platforms (Defense Daily, Aug. 30 2019). 

In late September, the Army completed fielding of the ground equipment for its first prototype hypersonic weapon battery, minus the live rounds, to the soldiers from the I Corps’ 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 17th Field Artillery Brigade at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington (Defense Daily, Oct. 7).

Lt. Gen. Neil Thurgood, director of the Army RCCTO, told reporters in October the Army unit set to operate the service’s first prototype hypersonic weapon battery will begin receiving live hypersonic missile rounds in fall 2022 (Defense Daily, Oct. 13).