Raytheon and Northrop Grumman awarded follow-on contract for hypersonic systems
Raytheon, an RTX company, and Northrop Grumman have been awarded a contract to develop further its Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) flight vehicle, incorporating manufacturing improvements and conducting flight tests to expand its operating envelope while validating system performance models.
The two companies have been working on the system since 2019, when they signed a teaming agreement to develop, produce and integrate Northrop Grumman's scramjet engines onto Raytheon's air-breathing hypersonic weapons.
In September 2022, the two companies were handed a $985 million contract to develop HACM further.
The new contract with DARPA will reduce the risk for future air-breathing hypersonic systems and will see the companies build and fly additional vehicles.
The team will continue to apply data and lessons learned from earlier stages of the program to mature the weapon concept design.
The airframe and engine designs are closely aligned to the USAF's Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile, which will directly benefit from the continued advancements.
In FY2019, DARPA requested $256.7 million for hypersonic weapons development, a 136% increase over FY2018. The funds supported two joint programmes with the USAF — the Tactical Boost Glide with $139.4 million and the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept with $14.3 million.
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