US Air Force selects contractors to deliver first hypersonic cruise missiles

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, in partnership with Northrop Grumman, have been selected to develop the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile for the US Air Force.

Artist’s impression of a Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile, courtesy Raytheon Missiles & Defense.

HACM is a first-of-its-kind weapon developed in conjunction with the Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE), a US/Australia project arrangement.

Under this contract, the Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Northrop Grumman team will deliver operationally ready missiles to the USAF.

President of Raytheon Missiles & Defense Wes Kremer said Raytheon was at the forefront of hypersonic weapon and air-breathing technology development.

“With advanced threats emerging around the globe, the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile will provide our warfighters a much-needed capability,” Mr Kremer said.

The Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile is an air-breathing scramjet-powered munition.

Scramjet engines use high vehicle speed to forcibly compress incoming air before combustion, which enables sustained flight at hypersonic speeds – Mach 5 or greater.

By traveling at these speeds, hypersonic weapons, like HACM, are able to reach their targets more quickly than similar traditional missiles, allowing them to potentially evade defensive systems.

Corporate vice president and president Northrop Grumman Defense Systems Mary Petryszyn said the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile would create a new class of strategically important weapons for the US military.

“Our scramjet propulsion technology is ushering in a new era for faster, more survivable and highly capable weapons,” she said.

Raytheon Technologies and Northrop Grumman have been working together since 2019 to develop, produce and integrate Northrop Grumman’s scramjet engines onto Raytheon’s air-breathing hypersonic weapons.

Their combined efforts enable both companies to produce air-breathing hypersonic weapons, the next generation of tactical missile systems.





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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

One thought on “US Air Force selects contractors to deliver first hypersonic cruise missiles

  • 17/10/2022 at 10:59 am

    ONE of the MANY benefits of Neutrality for Australia would be the ability to purchase Weapon systems on the open market.
    Tying ourselves to only ”made for profit” U.S. systems means we’re always behind the ball against the Russian and Chinese Military’s.
    Our outdated Alliance means we are always on the wrong side of History and Technology and are always a step behind the Enemies of our Ally.
    Will the R.A.N. get anything close the Russian YASEN class? Not from ‘our’ side.
    Will the R.A.A.F. get anything close to the Su 57 ? Not from ‘our’ side.
    Will the A.D.F Get anything like the Kinzhal or Avangard ? Not for at least 10 years from ‘our’ side.

    It time for Australia to put on it’s Big Boy pants and develop a suitable 2A/AD system instead of the great Australian Cultural and Military Cringe that keeps us hiding behind the Brits or Yanks Skirts.

    Neutrality for Australia.




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