DARPA and US Air Force complete second hypersonic weapon flight test
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the USAF have completed the second flight test of the scramjet-powered Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC). The announcement was made by Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Northrop Grumman on 18 July.
This flight test applied the data and lessons from the first flight to mature the operationally relevant weapon concept design.
According to a press release by Northrop Grumman, the missile met all primary and secondary objectives, including demonstrating tactical-range capabilities.
During the flight test, after releasing the HAWC from an aircraft and accelerating to hypersonic speeds using the scramjet engine, the vehicle flew a trajectory designed to intentionally stress the weapon concept to explore its limits and further validate digital performance models.
‘These models, grounded in real-world flight data, are being used to accurately predict and increase performance as the system matures,’ the press release pointed out.
Northrop Grumman and Raytheon completed the first flight test of a scramjet-powered HAWC in September 2021.
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