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Hypersonic Sticker Shock: U.S. Weapons May Run $106 Million Each

  • Cost office completes initial review for fast, agile missiles
  • Programs seen to cost Navy $21.5 billion and Army $7 billion
A common hypersonic glide body flight experiment at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii in March 2020.
A common hypersonic glide body flight experiment at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii in March 2020.Source: U.S. Navy

Hypersonic weapons that can fly five times the speed of sound will add $21.5 billion to the Navy’s budget and $7 billion to the Army’s in coming years, according to an estimate compiled by the Pentagon’s independent cost assessment office.

It’s the first authoritative evaluation of how much the services may spend to develop and build the agile and speedy new missiles that can fly low and evade radar and missile defenses. Based on internal Defense Department estimates on the number of weapons planned, that amounts to about $106 million per missile for the Army and $89.6 million for the Navy.