Yearlong CR would delay second Army hypersonic battery

By Ethan Sterenfeld / January 13, 2022 at 11:17 AM

The Army's second battery set of hypersonic missiles would be delayed by a year if Congress does not pass a new budget and funds all of fiscal year 2022 through continuing resolutions, the vice chief of staff of the Army told a congressional committee Jan. 12.

The Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon’s second battery would not be fielded until FY-26, rather than the FY-25 date that is currently planned, Gen. Joseph Martin told the House Appropriations Defense subcommittee.

An initial battery of eight missiles is scheduled to be fielded in FY-23, which would make the Army the first service to field hypersonic weapons. The service finished delivering the ground equipment in September to the battalion at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA, that will operate the first battery.

A yearlong CR would not delay the fielding of that first battery, Martin said. But the service will not be able to procure as many training rounds as it plans to unless Congress passes a budget.

Martin testified alongside the Pentagon comptroller and the other service chiefs about the danger that a yearlong CR poses to the military. Under a continuing resolution, programs are funded at FY-21 levels, and new programs cannot begin.

Within the Army, 71 programs would be delayed by a yearlong CR, Martin said. That includes 29 procurement programs, 32 development programs and several industrial base modernization programs.

The service is in the middle of what the chief of staff has repeatedly called a once-in-four-decades modernization, and the lack of a budget hurts the Army’s ability to develop new platforms that can take on near-peer threats, he said.

“You can’t get back time,” Martin said. “The resources that we could have spent this year, we’re going to have to spend next year, which means it’s twice the cost. So, it’s a huge impact on our modernization and maintaining our ability to compete in the future.”