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Navy next gen ship killing missile will be a hypersonic weapon dubbed HALO.

By Justin Katz on April 27, 2022 at 12:57 PM

The fiscal 2023 budget request is the first to outline crucial details about the next increment of OASuW, including its hypersonic capability.

Lockheed Martin’s Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM). (Credit Lockheed Martin)

WASHINGTON: The Navy’s latest budget request revealed the next increment of the service’s air-launched, ship-killing missile will be a hypersonic weapon dubbed HALO.

The program’s name is the Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare Weapon (OASuW) Increment II, and the service’s recently published budget justification documents call its development a “national imperative to maturing hypersonic capabilities.” Its nickname, HALO, is short for the Hypersonic Air-launched OASuW.

HALO “will be a higher-speed, longer range, air-launched weapon system providing superior anti surface warfare capabilities,” according to the justification documents. “OASuW Inc 2/HALO will address advanced threats from engagement distances that allow the Navy to operate in, and control, contested battle space in littoral waters and Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) environments.”

The weapon’s first increment is the Lockheed Martin-built Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), which has achieved early operational capability on several different warplanes in recent years, such as the Navy’s F/A-18 as well as the Air Force’s B-1B bomber. The fiscal 2023 budget request is the first to establish LRASM’s successor as HALO and reveal it will be a hypersonic capability.

The Navy is seeking $92 million in research and development funding for HALO in FY23 and aims to the field the technology in FY28. The service sought, but did not receive, approximately $56 million for similar research in the FY22 budget request.

A chart contained in the budget books indicates Halo is expected to reach “milestone B” by the end of FY23. Milestone B is an acquisition marker indicating a technology is cleared to begin producing prototypes. The budget books say the program’s acquisition strategy will follow a “competitive, phased approach” and that the service plans to engage “multiple vendors [to mature] a design” in FY23.

HALO is the second major hypersonic weapon program the Navy is undertaking and will be developed alongside Conventional Prompt Strike-(CPS). That hypersonic weapon is projected to be fielded onboard a Zumwalt-class destroyer in FY25, as well as a Virginia-class submarine in FY28. CPS is being developed jointly by the Navy and Army, which will be using the same technology to field a land-based variant. The Navy in FY23 is seeking $1.2 billion in research and development funding for CPS.

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