US Navy solicits Raytheon and Lockheed for carrier-suitable hypersonic weapon
HALO will be an aircraft carrier-based missile giving greater anti-surface capability than any weapon in service today.
The initial contracts are worth $116 million and cover technical maturation and development through a preliminary design review of the propulsion system needed for a carrier-suitable hypersonic weapon.
The contract period for both awards will end in December 2024, with both companies' preliminary design reviews working towards flight testing of a prototype.
USN Precision Strike Weapons (PMA-201) programme manager Capt Richard Gensley said: 'As threat capability continues to advance, additional range, warfare capability and capacity is required to address the more demanding threat environment.'
The work is part of the USN's long-range fires investment approach, with hypersonic weapons as a top priority of the US's National Defense Strategy.
'Our team is leveraging science and technology and rapid prototyping arenas to support aggressive schedule execution,' Gensley added.
HALO will succeed the currently fielded Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), launched from the F/A-18 and USAF B-1Bs.
The navy will bridge the gap to HALO by upgrading existing weapons with hardware and software improvements.
The USN is planning for the initial operating capability of HALO in the late 2020s.
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