Raytheon’s air-breathing hypersonic missile passes the first test. A historic trial.
A hypersonic missile launched from under the wing of an aircraft. Seconds later, a solid rocket motor boosted the system to supersonic speeds and its scramjet engine ignited. Punching through the atmosphere, the missile accelerated to speeds greater than Mach 5 as it soared for miles. Compressing incoming air, the system climbed to its cruising altitude, withstanding blazing temperatures.
In the test, conducted by the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the aircraft dropped the so-called Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept, or HAWC. The missile is built by Raytheon Technologies and powered by Northrop Grumman’s scramjet tech.
📰 #BREAKING: #RaytheonDefense and @northropgrumman successfully completed the first flight test of a scramjet-powered #Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept, or #HAWC, for @DARPA and @usairforce. Learn more: https://t.co/M4rjWouRue pic.twitter.com/QclC314aD5
— Raytheon Missiles & Defense (@RaytheonDefense) September 27, 2021
According to the executives of the company, this test is a history-making moment, which paves the way for an affordable, long-range hypersonic system in the near future to strengthen national security and it proves that the company can deliver the first operational hypersonic scramjet, providing a significant increase in warfighting capabilities.
Also read: Hypersonic weapons: The latest developments – VIDEO
Hypersonic missiles are dramatically faster than traditional weapons such as cruise missiles. They would give military commanders not just a more survivable weapon, but a greater range of options as to how and when to deploy them.
Raytheon Technologies is using its experience building high-speed missiles to develop a system that can withstand the extreme environmental conditions of sustained hypersonic speeds. The test puts the companies on track to deliver a prototype system to the US Department of Defence.
The Raytheon Company signed a teaming agreement with Northrop Grumman in 2019. Under that agreement, the companies are integrating Northrop Grumman’s scramjet combustors into Raytheon Technologies’ air-breathing hypersonic weapons. Raytheon Technologies has been working on the HAWC program since 2013.
According to their announcement, the industry team’s combined experience is helping accelerate the development of the next generation of tactical missile systems.
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