HUNTSVILLE — Secretary of the United States Army Ryan McCarthy visited a facility in Huntsville on Wednesday. He talked about the necessity of cutting edge military technology and thanked employees for their hard work during the coronavirus pandemic.
The location McCarthy visited, the Dynetics MidCity Aerospace Integration Facility, is a new satellite building of Dynetics in Huntsville that is still under construction.
The facility will construct Hypersonic Glide Body for missiles that will be able to travel the distance between Huntsville and Los Angeles in under 13 minutes according to Paul Turner, the project manager at Dynetics who oversees the facility.
McCarthy said the military needed weapons like the ones produced in part in Huntsville “to ensure that we have the technological margin on the battlefield to win for decades to come.”
“The work you do here will affect our future,” added the secretary.
“Know what you do protects our way of life,” he told the Dynetics employees.
Tuesday was the 46th anniversary of Dynetics’ founding. The company, purchased in 2019, is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leidos Incorporated.
The MidCity expansion is due to completed by year’s end, according to Turner. The exact details of the manufacturing and production that will take place inside is classified by the federal government.
Details provided to the press say that the building will have an environmental testing lab for examining the effects certain conditions have on manufactured materials. The facility will also see an amount of assembly, production and integration of some of the most advanced hypersonic weapons in the military’s arsenal.
Hypersonic weapons can travel at MACH 5, five times faster than the speed of sound, or about 13,000 miles per hour.
The building is 190,000 square feet and will be used entirely for classified manufacturing and assembly.
Displayed outside of the facility on Wednesday was the type of truck that would transport and provide launching capabilities for the hypersonic weapons manufactured in part at the new Dynetics facility.
Before the weapons assembled in Huntsville are ready for integration into the military’s arsenal they are shipped to a Lockheed Martin facility in Portland, Oregon, where they undergo a final set of integrations according to Turner.
The goal is to have them deployed on the battlefield by 2023, he added.
“The reason why I wanted to come down here was to thank all of you for enduring the hardships of this COVID-19 pandemic,” said McCarthy to the assembled Dynetics employees on Wednesday.
Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05), who represents the district containing the new Dynetics plant, told Yellowhammer News he would like to “thank Secretary McCarthy for taking the time out of his busy schedule to see the Tennessee Valley’s important and exceptional national security work on missile defense, hypersonics weapons, directed energy and the like.”
Brooks said he was voting on defense bills in Washington so he could not be there in person, but Brooks added that he was glad that it was being acknowledged that “[m]any of the world’s best engineers, scientists, and professionals make up the Redstone Arsenal community” in Huntsville.
Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) tweeted, “[Secretary of the Army McCarthy’s] visit to Dynetics in Huntsville highlights the critical role Alabama plays in defending our nation. Proud the [United States Army] is prioritizing the development of hypersonic systems and pleased Secretary McCarthy saw firsthand the progress being made in our state.”
Secretary McCarthy himself was bullish on the United States’ fight against the coronavirus during his speech.
“Our researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research Development Command are central to the vaccine development, and grinding towards an outcome where we’re going to have advance therapeutics and vaccines delivering at scale to the American people by the late fall of this year,” McCarthy told the audience.
McCarthy acknowledged that the wait between now and late fall was going to feel like a long time.
“Hard times don’t last, hard people do,” he said near his conclusion.