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US GAO confirms concerns with US Navy Conventional Prompt Strike platform scheduling

A new US government report cites concerns about installing hypersonic missile equipment on the USS Zumwalt . (Janes/Michael Fabey)

Both US Navy (USN) vessel platforms lined up for the service's first Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) deployments face issues with scheduling and development, according to a US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released on 8 June.

The first USN platform lined up for the CPS weapon system is the guided-missile destroyer, USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000).

The navy requested about USD160 million in research, development, test, and evaluation funds across fiscal years (FYs) 2022 and 2023 to support the CPS hypersonic weapon system's incorporation into DDG 1000-class ships, the GAO said in its annual report on major Pentagon acquisition programmes.

“According to the programme, it continued engineering design planning to support CPS integration initiated last year,” the GAO reported. “This includes plans to replace the ship's advanced gun system with the CPS hypersonic weapon. The navy plans to install the hypersonic weapon system on the DDG 1000 during a maintenance period in fiscal year 2024.”

Programme officials told GAO the start of the maintenance period and hypersonic weapon system installation on DDG 1000 will not be affected if operational testing – now scheduled to take place immediately prior to the maintenance – is not completed as planned.

If operational testing is delayed until a date during DDG 1000's scheduled maintenance period, the DDG 1001 would be used for the testing instead, programme officials told the GAO.

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