The US could equip its attack ships and submarines with hypersonic weapons in the coming years

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Vice Admiral Johnny Wolfe Jr., director of strategic systems programs for the U.S. Navy, announced Friday at the League of Naval Submarines annual symposium that the first Zumwalt-class destroyer will be equipped with a hypersonic weapon in 2025, while the first Virginia-class submarine will do so in 2028.

The military noted that initially the Navy planned to deploy hypersonic weapons in 2025 on Ohio-class submarines, but budget cuts prevented the construction of an underwater test facility. Due to the delay and the imminent withdrawal of this class of ships, the Navy chose to install the weapons in the Virginia, pick up USNI News.

“We were put on hiatus due to the budget, due to some budget cuts. But we are going to restart it this year,” Wolfe said. “We are going to resume construction and we are going to build a submarine launch test facility that it will be absolutely critical to test this before we get to first class Virginia, “adding that” that will give us, again, a full test setup to understand how this system will perform as it comes out. “

Likewise, Wolfe commented that the acceleration of the process of equipping Virginia-class ships with hypersonic weapons will depend on the completion of the submarine installation and the budget that will be allocated to it. “We are trying to take advantage of Zumwalt although it is different, it is a surface platform, but a lot of the things that we are going to test in Zumwalt will still be applicable to Virginia. And we are seeing how we can get that learning to a platform sooner,” added the military man.

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Wolfe noted that the Navy and shipbuilders are still studying the maximum amount of hypersonic weapons that can be placed on Zumwalt destroyers. Likewise, two complete tests will be carried out in 2022 to understand its operation. “We’re going to do all the other tests on it to make sure it’s safe and that we understand all of these sensitive munitions,” Wolfe said.

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