Raytheon has won more than $174.7 million contract for a research project under the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) program.
The contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is for unmentioned work on the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept, the company announced today.
HAWC is a joint DARPA, US Air Force program that seeks to develop and demonstrate critical technologies to enable an effective air-launched hypersonic cruise missile for long-range strike capabilities against time-critical or heavily defended targets.
Hypersonic weapons that would travel at five times the speed of sound (Mach 5) and beyond will improve future US offensive strike operations, particularly as adversaries’ capabilities advance.
Initially, about $3.4 million of fiscal 2016 research and development funds have been obligated under the contract, according to a Defense Department contract notice.
The Pentagon is researching two types of hypersonic missiles to defeat increasingly sophisticated air defenses and attack heavily defended targets.
In April 2015, Raytheon was awarded a $20.5 million DARPA contract to develop another type of hypersonic technology, a “tactical boost-glide” missile.
The air-breathing scramjet relies on high speed for its power, pushing more air and fuel into the engine as it accelerates.
Meanwhile, the boost-glide model rides a re-entry vehicle to extremely high altitudes, where it skips across the Earth’s upper atmosphere before gliding to its target.