Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Northrop Grumman Successfully Test Fire Hypersonic Weapon


Reading time ( words)

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, in partnership with Northrop Grumman, successfully completed the first flight test of a scramjet-powered Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept, or HAWC, for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Air Force. The companies are on track to deliver a prototype system to the U.S. Department of Defense.

During the test, HAWC was carried under the wing of an aircraft before it was released. Seconds later, a solid rocket motor boosted HAWC to supersonic speeds, where the scramjet engine ignited and accelerated the missile, enabling it to reach hypersonic flight. The test validates the ability of HAWC's airframe and propulsion system to reach and cruise at hypersonic speeds.

"This is a history-making moment, and this success paves the way for an affordable, long-range hypersonic system in the near term to strengthen national security," said Colin Whelan, vice president of Advanced Technology at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. "This test proves we can deliver the first operational hypersonic scramjet, providing a significant increase in warfighting capabilities."

Scramjet engines use high vehicle speed to forcibly compress incoming air before combustion to enable sustained flight at hypersonic speeds – Mach 5 or greater – which is five times the speed of sound. By traveling at these speeds, hypersonic weapons like HAWC are able to reach their targets more quickly than traditional missiles, allowing them to potentially evade defense systems.

"We have reached a milestone in delivering a game-changing capability to the warfighter," said Dan Olson, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems Division for Northrop Grumman. "Decades of learning advanced manufacturing techniques and industry partnerships helped us define what is now possible."

Raytheon Technologies and Northrop Grumman signed a teaming agreement last year to develop, produce and integrate Northrop Grumman's scramjet engines onto Raytheon's air-breathing hypersonic weapons. The agreement enables both companies to combine their capabilities to accelerate development and demonstrate readiness to produce the next generation of tactical missile systems.

Share

Print


Suggested Items

NASA Innovations Will Help U.S. Meet Sustainable Aviation Goals

09/10/2021 | NASA
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson joined federal government and industry leaders Thursday at a White House event highlighting sustainable aviation and the administration’s focus on medium- and long-term goals to combat climate change.

Nanosatellites Could Play Pivotal Role in Defense Against Enemy Missiles

07/13/2021 | U.S. Department of Defense
Two Missile Defense Agency nanosatellites — known as CubeSats — that launched June 30 into low-earth orbit from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California could play a large role in the future of U.S. missile defense.

USPAE Launches $42M DoD Consortium

02/11/2021 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
The I-Connect007 editorial team recently interviewed Chris Peters, Kevin Sweeney and Shane Whiteside, members of the U.S. Partnership for Assured Electronics (USPAE), about the award the association received from the Department of Defense to create the Defense Electronics Consortium. In this conversation, they discuss the objectives of the consortium, which was created to help the government identify and address potential risks in the electronics industry.



Copyright © 2021 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.