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Raytheon Missiles & Defense will develop and demonstrate a hypersonic missile for the United States Air Force under a new $985.3 million contract awarded Thursday.

The contract underscores the Air Force’s focus on increasing interactivity with allies and partners to stay ahead of strategic competitors. China reportedly tested a hypersonic missile near Taiwan this summer, while Russia claimed to have used a hypersonic missile in its invasion of Ukraine in March.

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Defense Contractor’s Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM) is an air-breathing, scramjet-powered weapon designed to reach targets faster than a conventional missile and evade enemy defense systems.

Pentagon doubles down on defense supplies from China after F-35 scare

Scramjet engines use high vehicle speeds to forcibly compress incoming air prior to combustion, enabling sustained flight at speeds of Mach 5 (about 3,800 mph) or higher.

Raytheon Technologies

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anchorSecurityThe lastChangeChange %
rtxRaytheon Technologies Corp.81.17-0.88-1.07%
no objection certificateNorthrop Grumman Corp.478.82-17.64-3.55%

HACM’s scramjet is designed by Northrop Grumman, which has partnered with Raytheon on the project since 2019.

“With advanced threats emerging around the world, the hypersonic attack cruise missile will provide our warships with a much-needed capability,” Raytheon Missiles and Defense President Wes Kramer said in a statement.

HACM is being developed in conjunction with the Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE), a multi-year partnership between the US and Australia, in 2020.

Through the SCIFiRE agreement, the US and Australia will continue to collaborate on HACM design and development, including using the Australian test infrastructure for initial all-up-round flight tests.

The Air Force expects to receive the delivery of the first HACM prototype by fiscal year 2027.

Pentagon awarded hypersonic missile defense contracts to Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman

Raytheon’s design is leading the way, beating Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

anchorSecurityThe lastChangeChange %
B. AThe Boeing Company127.20-4.08-3.11%
LMTLockheed Martin Corp.413.07-9.01-2.13%

In June 2021, all three companies were awarded a 15-month SCIFiRE contract from the Air Force to complete a preliminary design for a hypersonic cruise missile.