Stand by China, the US Army will soon be joining any future fight by fielding highly maneuverable, hypersonic missiles coming to a battlefield near YOU.
- The Army’s new Land-based missile variant of the Navy’s hypersonic weapon will be called ‘Dark Eagle.’
- It is expected to enter service in 2023.
- Dark Eagle combines the unpowered Common-Hypersonic Glide Body(C-HGB) with a large rocket booster.
- It will have speeds in excess of Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound, or 3,836 miles per hour).
- Its 1,700-mile range will allow it to strike targets across the South China Seas, as well as deep into China from a number of nearby countries, such as the Philippines, Vietnam, and Japan.
- Dark Eagle missile and launchers will be air transportable via C-130 aircraft for rapid deployment to unimproved front-line locations in Asia.
The Navy’s version of the hypersonic missiles will arm the new Virginia-class submarines and the Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyers.
See video of a test launch in 2020 in Hawaii.
According to Popular Mechanics (PopMech):
Once the booster runs out of fuel, C-HGB glides back down to earth, streaking toward its target, and delivering a high-explosive charge. Dark Eagle’s high speed allows it to engage fleeting targets, while also proving elusive for enemy air defenses.
The Army will deploy Dark Eagle in artillery batteries of eight missiles each. That will consist of four truck-bound transporter-erector-launcher vehicles with two missiles each, plus a battery operations center. A C-130J Super Hercules transport will deploy the battery, allowing it to reach rougher airfields closer to the battle zone.