Raytheon's new missile

Raytheon Beats Lockheed, Boeing for $1 Billion Hypersonic Cruise Missile

Raytheon Beats Lockheed, Boeing for $1 Billion Hypersonic Cruise Missile
A Raytheon defence building in El Segundo, California, US, on 10 June 2019. (Photo: Kyle Grillot / Bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) -- Raytheon Technologies Corp. beat Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co. for a $1 billion contract to design, develop and produce a new hypersonic weapon for the US Air Force, the Pentagon announced Thursday.

Raytheon was awarded the “task order” for the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile that calls for weapon system design, development and initial delivery expected to be completed by March 2027.

The HACM, which has been co-developed with the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, will use air-breathing propulsion to reach five times the speed of sound. It will be the Air Force’s second hypersonic missile after Lockheed’s ARRW, which is a hypersonic weapon that’s boosted into the atmosphere and then glides to its target.

Air Force officials have indicated that the HACM might be used on both fighters and bombers, with one official saying a B-52 bomber potentially could carry as many as 20, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.

At least eight hypersonic weapons are in development, the service said.

Russia said in February that it had test-fired a hypersonic missile, sending a message to the US and NATO allies just before its invasion of Ukraine. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has asserted that hypersonic weapons will make up the core of Russia’s non-nuclear deterrence capability in the future. The US says Russia has deployed its Avangard Hypersonic Glide Vehicle and its Tsirkon hypersonic anti-ship and land-attack missile.

China is investing heavily in hypersonic weapons as well, putting one in orbit last year that flew 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) in more than 100 minutes of flight, according to the top US nuclear commander.

Russia and China are able to press ahead on new weapons without the oversight by lawmakers and the public that can slow testing and deployment under the Pentagon’s acquisition system.


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • louis viljee says:

    Could DM please- not call weapons of aggression and war ‘defence’ (in your email newsletter). We know that the ‘defence’ industry as it likes to call itself is an industry of war and probably the largest criminal syndicate created demanding gazillions from our governments (ie us) while destabilising the world and is the cause of unknown undemocratic activity and suffering.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

Daily Maverick The Gathering 2024 banner

Daily Maverick has secured an esteemed speaker line-up...

to help make sense of Elections 2024.

Trevor Manuel, Prof Thuli Madonsela and Minister Ronald Lamola are among the latest panellists confirmed for Daily Maverick The Gathering Twenty Twenty-Four.

Join us, on Thurs 14 March 2024 at CTICC Cape Town or online wherever you are, for an event that will put the election in perspective.

Make your taxes work for you

Donate to Daily Maverick’s non-profit arm, the Scorpio Investigative Unit, by 29 February 2024 and you’ll qualify for a tax break.

We issue Section 18A tax certificates for all donations made to Daily Maverick. These can be presented to SARS for tax relief.

Make your donation today

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Otsile Nkadimeng - photo by Thom Pierce

A new community Actionist every week.

Meet the South Africans making a difference. Get Maverick Citizen in your inbox.