Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles
CPS / LRHW / Dark Eagle
Copyright © 2024 Andreas Parsch

Lockheed Martin CPS / LRHW / Dark Eagle

After the American withdrawal in 2019 from the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) arms control treaty because of Russian non-compliance, the U.S. Army immediately began a program called LRHW (Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon) to develop a new intermediate-range strategic weapon. At around the same time, the U.S. Navy had formulated its Intermediate-Range CPS (Conventional Prompt Strike) requirement for a ship- or submarine-launched hypersonic quick reaction missile. Both programs were merged to develop a common missile round. The hypersonic glide vehicle, which serves as the warhead delivery vehicle, is called Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) and developed by Dynetics.

The LRHW has been officially named Dark Eagle by the Army. A Dark Eagle missile system consists of a TEL (transporter erector launcher) with an M984A4 tractor truck and a modified M870A4 semi-trailer, carrying a launch canister with two all-up missile rounds.

The Navy's CPS system uses the same missile as LRHW, but is to be launched from vertical launch tubes of surface ships and/or submarines. The first ships to receive the missiles are planned to be Ohio-class SSNs, possibly followed by Zumwalt-class DDGs.

Photo: U.S. Army
Dark Eagle TEL with Missile Canister

Testing of missile components like rocket motor, control system and C-HGB progressed between 2020 and 2023, but not without problems. In September 2023, a planned all-up test of LRHW failed for undisclosed reasons. The fielding of the first Dark Eagle system with the Army, initially planned for the end of 2023, has therefore been delayed.

No detailed physical or performance charactistics of the missile have been made public. It probably has a two-stage rocket motor to boost the missile to hypersonic speed, and the range has been reported to be about 2700 km (1700 miles). It uses a Navy 34.5 in (87.6 cm) rocket motor, which gives a good measure on the missiles diameter.


No specifications for the CPS / Dark Eagle missile have been published.

Main Sources

[1] Defense Update, Tamir Eshel: Lockheed Martin, Dynetics to Build a Hypersonic Missile System for the US Army
[2] Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon
[3] Wikipedia: Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon
[4] Lockheed Martin: Lockheed Martin Awarded $1.1 Billion Initial Contract [...]
[5] Sidney E. Dean: Dark Eagle: Fielding the US Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon

Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 4

Last Updated: 17 January 2024