Raytheon has been awarded a $1 billion contract to build US hypersonic cruise missiles

Raytheon Missiles & Defense received nearly $1 billion contract to produce and demonstrate a hypersonic attack cruise missile (HACM) for the US Air Force.

The company beat out American counterparts Lockheed Martin and Boeing to advance to the prototype stage of the hypersonic missile program.

The award reportedly puts Raytheon well ahead of its competitors and a leading developer of strategic weapons.

According to the US Department of Defense, the company will be tasked with the development, production, initial delivery, integration and testing of the weapon system.

Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon won initial HACM design contracts in 2021with the US Air Force selecting Raytheon for the next phase of development.

“Raytheon Missiles & Defense continues to be at the forefront of hypersonic weapon development and air-breathing technology,” said Raytheon President. Wes Kramer said.

“With the emergence of advanced threats around the world, the hypersonic attack cruise missile will provide our warfighters with much-needed capabilities.”

“Strategically important weapon”

The HACM is an air-breathing, jet-powered munition designed to target high-value assets in contested environments.

It can travel in the upper atmosphere at a speed of 6,200 kilometers (3,853 miles) per hour, which is more than five times the speed of sound.

Thanks to its hypersonic speed, the weapon system can evade air defense systems and reach targets faster than traditional missiles.

“The hypersonic attack cruise missile creates a new class of strategically important weapon for the US armed forces,” explained a representative of Northrop Grumman, Raytheon’s partner in the program.

“Our scramjet technology ushers in a new era for faster, more survivable and highly powerful weapons.”

Work on the contract will be performed in Arizona and is expected to be completed by 2027. Raytheon has been awarded a $1 billion contract to build US hypersonic cruise missiles

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